Meet the new faces in Nigeria Super Falcons’ Olympic Qualy squad

Meet the new faces in Nigeria Super Falcons’ Olympic Qualy squad
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced the list of 21 Super Falcons players who have been summoned for the upcoming third round fixture of the 2024 Olympics qualifying series against Cameroon.

The squad includes familiar faces such as Rasheedat Ajibade, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, and six-time African Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, alongside rising star Esther Okoronkwo.

With the Olympics looming just five months away, this fixture marks a crucial stage in the African qualifying series, serving as the penultimate round before the continent's representatives for the 2024 Olympics are determined.

The Super Falcons are set to face off against Cameroon in a high-stakes showdown, with the first leg scheduled to take place at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala, Cameroon, on Friday, February 23.

The match will be officiated by Ugandan referee Shamirah Nabadda, with Lydia Nantabo, Jane Mutonyi, and Diana Murungi serving as assistant referees, and Khadija Rezzag from Morocco as the referee assessor.

Lukusa Kanjinga from the Democratic Republic of Congo will act as the commissioner for the encounter.

Following the first leg in Douala, the action will shift to the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja for the second leg on Monday, February 26.

The Super Falcons will be looking to secure a positive result on home soil to enhance their chances of progressing to the next stage of the qualifying campaign.

Super Falcons squad photo
Credit: Icon Sport

Meet the new face in Nigeria Super Falcons’ Olympic Qualy squad

Notable among the players called up for the fixtures is goalkeeper Linda Jiwuaku, who earns her first senior national team call-up at the age of 17.

Jiwuaku, born on June 6, 2006, stands at an impressive height of 175 cm and has previously represented Nigeria in the U17 Women's World Cup held in 2022.

She faced Germany, Colombia, USA, Chile and New Zealand.

Her inclusion underscores the Super Falcons' commitment to nurturing young talent and building for the future.

With the stakes higher than ever, Coach Justin Madugu and his squad are fully focused on the task at hand as they aim to secure victory against Cameroon and take a step closer to Olympic qualification.

The Super Falcons will be banking on the collective talent and determination of their players to deliver a strong performance and achieve success in the upcoming qualifiers.

Ashleigh Plumptre's return bolsters Nigeria's bid for Olympic qualification

Ashleigh Plumptre in action

Nigeria's women's football team, the Super Falcons, have received a significant boost ahead of their crucial Olympic qualifiers against Cameroon with the return of versatile defender Ashleigh Plumptre.

Plumptre's inclusion comes on the heels of her impressive performance at the World Cup, where the Super Falcons reached the Round of 16 undefeated.

Following her standout display on the international stage, Plumptre embarked on a surprising yet successful move to Saudi Arabia, joining Al-Ittihad Ladies team.

Her adaptability and talent have shone through in her new environment, adding depth and quality to the Super Falcons' defensive line.

The stakes are high for Nigeria as they aim to secure a return to the women's football event at the Olympic Games after missing out on the past three editions.

With the hunger for qualification palpable within the team, Plumptre's return injects a renewed sense of optimism and determination among the squad.

The Super Falcons boast a formidable roster, featuring a blend of experienced veterans and emerging talents eager to leave their mark on the global stage.

Plumptre's presence adds further strength to a team already brimming with talent and ambition.

However, Nigeria will face a tough challenge in Cameroon, who themselves are vying for a spot at the Olympics.

The Indomitable Lionesses, who represented Africa at the 2012 Olympics in London, are determined to reclaim their place on the global stage and pose a formidable opposition for the Super Falcons.

As the two teams prepare to face off in the crucial qualifiers, the stage is set for an intense battle on the field.

With Olympic qualification hanging in the balance, every moment will count as Nigeria and Cameroon vie for the opportunity to showcase their talents at the highest level of women's football.

Plumptre's return adds an extra dimension to Nigeria's quest for Olympic qualification, providing the team with a valuable asset as they strive to overcome the challenges ahead.

With determination, resilience, and teamwork, the Super Falcons are poised to rise to the occasion and fulfill their dreams of Olympic glory.

Super Falcons squad 

Super Falcons vs Cape Verde lineups
Credit: Icon Sport

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

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachuca Club de Futbol, Mexico); Ashleigh Plumptre (Ittihad Ladies, Saudi Arabia); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Akudo Ogbonna (Remo Stars Ladies); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France)

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 (Costa Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Henan FC, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (SLC Utah, USA); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, Spain); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Gift Monday (Costa Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain)

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.