Best Odds Center
best odds centre button
Click here!
Live Sport
watch live tv button
Click here!
to watch
Click here!
Live Scores
play watch Live Score button
Click here!

Paris 2024: Operation Bang Banyana in full swing as Ajibade, others fly into Abuja

Posted : 31 March 2024

Captain and chief motivator, Rasheedat Ajibade, will be among the early arrivals as the camp of Nigeria’s Super Falcons opens on Sunday for the African final qualifying fixture for this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament against South Africa's Banyana Banyana.

The two teams, arguably the best women's football squads on the African continent, are at each other’s throats for one of the two tickets from Africa for the Paris 2024 Olympics women’s football. The first leg will take place at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Friday, with the return scheduled for the Loftus Versfeld arena in Pretoria five days later.

Ajibade, whose savvy, skill, and wisdom helped the Falcons reach the Round of 16 at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, will be joined by home-based goalkeeper Linda Jiwuaku and defender Jumoke Alani (drafted in following an injury to Saudi Arabia-based Ashleigh Plumptre) as early arrivals.

Young defender Shukurat Oladipo, veteran goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, Japan-based Chidinma Okeke, and Spain-based forward Gift Monday are expected to arrive early on Monday. The rest of the squad will arrive by Tuesday, although USA-based African queen Asisat Oshoala is not expected until Thursday.

South Africa’s delegation, including 24 players, will land in Abuja on Monday evening.

The Super Falcons are extra motivated for this fixture, having not beaten the Banyana in regulation time for many years, and having watched as the South Africans won the Women's Africa Cup of Nations trophy last year after edging them 2-1 in a group phase match in Morocco.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria still dominate at that level, with nine of the 12 titles contested so far. The squad is brimming with youth and experience, and they were the best-performing African team at the last World Cup, remaining unbeaten in regulation time until their exit via a penalty shootout defeat to England.

Both legs of the fixture promise to be potentially explosive. Nigeria will rely on the bravery of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, a defense expected to include World Cup stars Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie, a midfield of no-nonsense duo Halimatu Ayinde and Christy Ucheibe, and a forward line led by Esther Okoronkwo and Uchenna Kanu.

Falcons for "Operation Bang Bayana:

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia); Linda Jiwuaku (Bayelsa Queens).

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico); Jumoke Alani (Edo Queens); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Nicole Payne (Portland Thorns FC, USA); Chidinma Okeke (Mynavi Sendai Ladies, Japan).

Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun (University of Pittsburgh, USA); Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jennifer Echegini (Juventus Ladies, Italy); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain).

Forwards: Omorinsola Babajide (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Changchun FC, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (SLC Utah, USA); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Gift Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pachucha Club de Futbol, Mexico).


Hot Topics

close button
Please fill captcha :