By Samuel Ahmadu
The Super Falcons are beginning their Summer Series campaign in the United States as they take on Jamaica in their opening match at BBVA Stadium on Thursday evening. This is how they line up
GOALKEEPER – Tochukwu Oluehi: The 34-year-old shot-stopper will return to the post in the absense of Chiamaka Nnadozie after her impressive display in Nigeria’s Turkish Women’s Cup. The Pozoalbense goalkeeper will eyeing her third clean sheet under new tactician Randy Waldrum following her clinical diplays in triumphs over CKSA Moscow and Uzbekistan in February.
CERTRE-BACK – Oluwatosin Dimehin: Her starting role became inevitable following the late withdrawal of super regular Osinachi Ohale. Dimehin, who is one of the nine homebased players in Houston, will be hoping to make an impression on her maiden appearance for Nigeria, having starred at the Nigeria Women’s Football League Premiership Super Six in April.
CENTRE-BACK – Onyinyechi Zogg: Waldrum has also be forced to hand a starting role to Swiss-born defender, with the unavaliablity of Minsk defender Onome Ebi due to logistic reasons. This will see the FC Zurich star also make her first appearance for the West African nation.
LEFT-BACK – Glory Ogbonna: The Edo Queens defender will be hoping to continue with her eye catching performances for the Super Falcons after her good displays at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya, where she also scored a stunning goal from 30 yards against Equatorial Guinea.
RIGHT-BACK – Chidinma Okeke: After recently hitting fine form for Madrid CFF and fine display at the last camp in Turkey, Waldrum now seem to have kept faith in the former Robo Queens.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER – Rasheedat Ajibade: With the absense of Halimatu Ayinde, the Atletico Madrid star is likely to be tasked with woman-marking role for Chelsea’s troublesome playmaker Drew Spence. The 21-year-old had excelled in the role during her second season with Avaldsnes in Norway and will hope to shine in Waldrum’s makeshift squad.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER – Rita Chikwelu: The Madrid CFF star shone during the Super Falcons’ campaign at the Turkish Women’s Cup and Waldrum will be counting on the experienced midfielder to continue her good form in the Women’s Summer Series, beginning against the Raggae Girlz.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER – Toni Payne: Having starred for the United States at several youth levels, Payne will be eager to impress in her country of birth, following her successful national switch to Nigeria in 2019. The 26-year-old midfielder is enjoying her incredible international breakthrough with the West African nation following her debut at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya, where she featured in three matches, scoring and assisting once.
LEFT FORWARD – Vivian Ikechukwu: Despite several options at his disposal, American tactician has alloted the left wing to the Rivers Angels forward. Her selection came as no surprise, after the former Abia Angels star shone brightly at the NWFL Premiership Super Six, where she helped the Port Harcourt side retained the title, scoring four goals in five outings in April.
RIGHT FORWARD – Francisca Ordega: The Levante striker will be bearing the burden of leading the team in the absence of captain Asisat Oshoala when they take on the Caribbeans. The 27-year-old, who was part of the success in Turkey, will aim to lead them to a triumph in Texas.
CENTRE FORWARD – Roosa Ariyo: The TiPS woman takes the place of absent Barcelona star in their opening match of the campaign in the Summer Series in Houston. The Finnish born forward, who earned her eligibility through her Nigerian father, will be making her maiden appearance for the Super Falcons. Her superb form for her Finnish side, scoring nine goals in nine games earned her the responsibility to spearhead the African champions’ attack.