The Super Falcons have a battle on their hands in the coming days. The Nigerian female team is bidding for a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris but must get past Ethiopia.
The Super Falcons and Ethiopia have not had it easy in the last four years and need to make an impression this time.
It is safe to say that both sides are desperate to pick a ticket for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Given this, the Ethiopia Football Federation has released a 25-woman team to take on the Super Falcons.
So, will the Nigerian side soar over their Ethiopian counterparts or be brought down to earth again?
Nigerians do not expect another disappointing run.
Ethiopia Football Federation releases list for Super Falcons
Ethiopia has released the team list for their Women's Olympic second-round qualifying tie against the Super Falcons.
The team list consists of 25 women's senior national players, as the tie is of utmost importance to the Ethiopians.
According to reports closely monitored on the Ethiopia Football Federation media channels, Lucy hopes to beat the Super Falcons to move to the next round, where they will meet the winner between Uganda and Cameroon.
Ethiopia will host the Super Falcons in the first leg of the doubleheader in Addis Ababa on October 25, while the second leg will be held in Abuja on October 31, 2023.
The 25-women squad consist of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and eight attackers.
Players and officials of Super Falcons will depart Nigeria to Ethiopia on Sunday, October 22nd, for the first leg of Olympic qualifers. The home based players invited and officials will depart the country on Sunday while the foreign based players will join the team in Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/X0eNc1F4B5
— Faith. 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳 (@trendyfaith) October 18, 2023
Their road to the second round
Ethiopia reached the second round courtesy of a first-round victory over Chad. Their victory over Chad was a comprehensive one.
They won the first leg 6-0 and 4-0 in the second leg for an aggregate of 10-0 to set up a date with the nine-time African champions who drew bye in the first round.
Super Falcons and their last four Olympic qualification run
Despite being the most successful team in Africa, the Super Falcons have been unable to qualify for the Olympics since 2008 but are determined to break the jinx this time.
In 2008, they pipped Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia to the sole ticket.
In the qualification for the 2012 Olympics, Cameroon and South Africa beat the Super Falcons and Ethiopia to the ticket at the final hurdle.
The Super Falcons lost 4-3 on penalties to the Lionesses after a 3-3 aggregate score, while Ethiopia lost 4-1 to the Bayana Bayana.
In 2015, Nigeria also fell in the third round to Equatorial Guinea. The Super Falcons lost 2-3 on aggregate to miss out on the Olympics in Brazil.
In the 2020 qualifying tournament, Ethiopia crashed out in the second round after losing to Cameroon on the away goals rule after a 1-1 home draw.
The Super Falcons also crashed out in the third round. They lost to Ivory Coast, thanks to the away goals rule after a 0-0 (away result) and 1-1 at home.
Super Falcons ready for Ethiopia
The Super Falcons have also released a 22-woman squad that comprises three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and six forwards.
The bulk of the squad are players who made Nigeria proud at the just concluded FIFA Women's World Cup.
Headlining the squad is Asisat Oshoala, with Uchenna Kanu, Rasheedat Ajibade, Michelle Alozie and Chiamaka Nnadozie making the cut.
The Super Falcons will depart for Addis Ababa on Sunday.
OFFICIAL: Our 🇳🇬 squad list 📄 for Ethiopia doubleheader in the second round of the African qualifying tournament for the #Paris2024, later this month! 🔥🤍#SoarSuperFalcons| #OlympicsQualifiers pic.twitter.com/hpkMJngd4F
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) October 9, 2023
Ethiopia Full Invited Players Vs Super Falcons
Goalkeepers: Tariqua Bergena (CBE), Betelhem Yohannes (Hawassa), Abeba Ajebo (Addis Ababa)
Defenders: Birkie Amare (CBE), Bizuayehu Taddese (CBE), Nardos Getnet (CBE), Senayit Shego (Adama), Betelhem Bekele (Mechal), Nestanet Tsegaye (Mechal), Kidist Zeleke (Hawassa), Dirshaye Menza (CBE)
Midfielders: Nybouny Yien (CBE), Messay Temesgen (CBE), Aregash Kalsa (CBE), Meadin Sahilu (Hawassa), Bethelhem Gizachew (Mechal), Bethelhem Mentelo (Addis Ababa),
Forwards: Loza Abera (CBE), Senaf Wakuma (CBE), Rediet Asresahegn (Hawassa), Turist Lemma (Hawassa), Nigist Bekele (Mechal), Ariet Odong (CBE), Mahlet Mitiku (Sidama), Emush Daniel (Hawassa)
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago