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7/5/2011: Canada v. Nigeria


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2011 Women's World Cup Preview - Nigeria

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Nigeria is no stranger to the FIFA Women's World Cup, but it is also no stranger to failure at the tournament.

Despite being the top team in Africa since the tournament debuted in 1991, the Super Falcons have qualified for the previous five events, they have only made the knockout stage once.

Even then, back in 1999, Nigeria was a little overmatched.

The other four times, Nigeria failed to win a match and finished at the bottom of its group.

Although the country's 2-11-2 all-time mark at the tournament can be traced to various problems - mainly being drawn into the toughest group in both 2003 and 2007 - Nigeria didn't receive a break for the 2011 edition in Germany.

Drawn into Group A with two-time defending champion and host Germany, CONCACAF champion Canada and European power Sweden [France] once again will put the African side under pressure just to win a match, let alone escape the group stage.

Nigeria left Africa more than a month before the tournament to prepare for the world's biggest stage to set up training camp in Austria, where coach Eucharia Uche - the first female to ever coach the team - hoped the team would find the secret to success outside their home continent.

Uche became boss after Nigeria lost in Africa for the first time ever, against Equatorial Guinea, and steered the Super Falcons to the 2010 African Women's Football Championship.

Led by captain and goalkeeper Precious Dede and striker and two-time African Player of the Year Perpetua Nkwocha, Nigeria outscored its opponents, 22-6, to capture the title.

It was fitting the championship game was a 4-2 victory over Equatorial Guinea, which also qualified for the Cup as Africa's other representative.

While Nkwocha led the tournament with 11 goals, it was the Dede-led defense on the other end of the field that impressed Uche.

Even with top defender Faith Ikidi unable to join the team because her Swedish club wouldn't allow her to leave for the [African Finals] tournament, the defense "surprised me the most," Uche said, according to FIFA's website.

"They were marvelous the entire tournament," Uche added. "They conceded few goals and did not commit many blunders."

Dede, a veteran of the last two World Cups, insisted "we will be in Germany to make Nigeria proud.

"We have all been expecting another chance to have a go at achieving something better at the world stage."

But for Nigeria to replicate 1999, when it finished second in its group before losing to Brazil in the quarterfinals, Dede, Nkwocha and fellow veteran Stella Mbachu must have incredible tournaments.

And Ebere Orji, Desire Oparanozie, Esther Sunday, who helped Nigeria reach the final of the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Germany, a 2-0 defeat to the hosts, must emerge against the top players in the world - although none of the three has reached their 20th birthday.

The Super Falcons open June 26 against France, play Germany on June 30 and end group play against Canada on July 5.

But despite all of Nigeria's success in Africa and on the U-20 level, a defeat to Germany on the senior level late last year left doubt about whether it will break through this summer.

Germany defeated Nigeria, 8-0, in a friendly, but Uche insists "things will be different this time around.

"No team is going to beat us by that margin at the World Cup."

That may be true. But will Nigeria, which is winless in its last seven matches in the World Cup, be able to actually beat anybody in Germany?

History has proven that won't be so easy.


-- FIFA World Cup qualifier: 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011.

-- FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist: 1999.


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Borkowski's tweets on Nigeria last night:

NIG with Obliers as assistant coach could be tougher than anticipated. Encouraging signs out of NIG camp.

Expectation is that NIG will be more disciplined tactically, more compact defensively and dangerous on the break.

Reportedly confidence and belief in the NIG camp is increasing

Obliers is a former coach of Bad Neuenahr

Cynthia Uwak left off NIG WWC squad.

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Nigerians should never be counted out. With proper technical work and structure added to their already visible athleticism and creativity they'll be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Nigeria is unpredictable so Canada needs to stay poised and hold their own playing in all three prelim matches.

Slovakia scored an 89th minute goal to draw vs Nigeria today. likely Nigeria's final prep match.

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Who must sleep with the coach?

For many young Nigerian girls soccer is a way out of poverty. But it includes sexual abuse by coaches and club officials


The women's national soccer team of Nigeria is the most successful across the continent. The sport is booming for many young Nigerians and the players of the Super Falcons have become a model. They meet twice a week at the sports center in the north of the Ikeja Lagos Mega-City. Many hope that someday a scout looks them over and paves the way into the professional league, the national team or even to Europe. Zainab Udeyin also wants to kick, absolutely. One thought, however, always accompanied them: "Most male coaches are players only when they have sex with them." She is silent for a moment. "There are exceptions, but often it is going on."

"This issue was known to all I've felt," says Helen Schönbrodt. The 25-year-old sports teacher and student and former active female player from the vicinity of Kassel, has built the team last year and trained for several months.

The enormous pressure to have sex with the coach or a club official is no secret. Nevertheless, women remain silent. "I would like to know some who are affected. But no one talking about it. It is sexual abuse, the biggest problem in the Nigerian women's football," says Hans Kramer. The Swiss has lived for many years in Nigeria, among other things, organizes the annual women's football tournament All Stars. The issue of abuse frightens the girls. Someone could find out, who has spoken. That would mean the end of each career.

Mary Ogbere will not name her real name. The soccer player who once supported himself by the Nigerian national team. "Of course it happened," she says and then tries to play down the scale. There are two of ten coaches require the sex of their players." It is required to play in a tournament.

Hans Kramer remembers a talented Nigerian: From her first club, she has flown, because they had refused to sleep with the coach. The new team, she also had no luck. She liked a club official. Because she refused sex with him, she was kicked out again. "It was the end of their career," says Kramer. Officially it was said: The girl is too stubborn and bullheaded.

Women's football is not the only area of ​​society, in which sex is considered the unofficial currency. In schools and universities require teachers like consideration for passed exams. In business, it is no different. "Nigeria is a country of men who prey on the poor and weak with sex," says Hans Kramer.


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In WTF dept, Nigeria also appears to be distracted by lesbians and other sexual escapades on the Super Falcons



Uche said that she has used religion in an attempt to rid her team of homosexual behavior, which she termed a “dirty issue,” and “spiritually, morally very wrong.”

She boldly said: “It's a worrisome experience that some of our players indulge in lesbianism. Some of them go as far as renting rooms in hotels around the team's campsite where they go to satisfy their orgy.

“A good number of them even bring their male friends into the camp. It's a serious development that has been detrimental to the team's growth and performance,” she further lamented.

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With 200 countries in the world and every form of political and religious culture under the sun there is never a shortage of surprises (i.e. this one Wednesday -


There are programs that are gay-negative, gay-neutral and even gay-positive where you have an advantage. The beautiful game is only beautiful when it's played and managed by beautiful people.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With the monkey off our backs, do we play weightless and our best game?

Already eliminated, do we go with a youth team to prepare them for 2014/2015?

Does the Mask play?

How do Nigeria handle elimination? Do they pack it in mentally? Go with a youth team? How do we handle their strength/speed?

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With the monkey off our backs, do we play weightless and our best game?

Already eliminated, do we go with a youth team to prepare them for 2014/2015?

Does the Mask play?

How do Nigeria handle elimination? Do they pack it in mentally? Go with a youth team? How do we handle their strength/speed?

Go without Sinclair let Matheson lead them, put the best 11 for the day on the pitch.

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Some of the interesting comments from the Nigerian press after their 0-1 loss to Germany and 0-1 loss to France:

Making your own luck


Before the start of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, there was talk that the Falcons would need a huge dose of luck to make it into the quarter finals and unfortunately, that scenario has largely played out in Germany as the female national team, though put up stiff resistance, lost their opening games to guarantee a quick exit from the Mundial.

Eventually, the autopsy of their participation will be done or is in the process of being done and one person who will realise that the time is up is the head coach of the team, Eucharia Uche. The buck stops at her table and there can be no running away from the fact that the matches played by the girls showed a lack of genuine technical and tactical information.

Even though the local game is almost dead and buried, Nigeria can still exude and play with some bravado on the African continent because of the fact that we produce more players, and these players are beginning to find their feet overseas.

We also have a good crop of players emerging from the local academies, but all these could have been better combined if we had a thriving local league.

Sadly, the Falcons showed a complete lack of knowledge in going forward and scoring goals. In their first match against France, the team could not muster one shot on target and against the Germans, the team managed just one shot - a very tame attempt that was supposed to be a cross-field pass from Sarah Michael.

At the end of that bitter second game loss to Germany, Coach Uche said the Germans were lucky to have won but in actual sense, they made that luck. They had six shots at Precious Dede and she was forced into three saves, which cannot be called luck. And their goal was a set piece routine that had been worked on in their practises.

Coach Uche showed against the French team that she was a little lax in understanding setups and plays. The French team knew that Helen Ukaonu, being a right footer playing in a left-back, could be got at on the outside and continued to double team on that position until they got their goal, which was as a result of a cross from their right position.

Nigeria's oldest player and most experienced World Cup campaigner, Perpetua Nkwocha, said after the French defeat, that they had not planned on defending too deep but it happened for 90 minutes with the coach unable to change the game plan - why?

The inclusion of German trainer, Thomas Obliers, showed in the physical conditioning of the girls and they did match the teams physically and never grew tired in the course of their matches.

But the tactical and technical inputs were largely missing. The coach did not show enough guile in moving her pieces on the chess-board, even when her queen was threatened.


Nigeria is 27th ranked in the world.

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Will it be heros or zeros on the pitch ?

I think this match will give us a chance to evaluate what kind of players we have on this team.

As I watched BRAZIL's B team better known as Equatorial Guinea (7 Brazilians on the team) getting competitive results in matches against Norway and Australia I am hoping Canada has some players that can perform up to Morace's expectations.

So far I would put Canada as a candidate for having the worst team in the tournament along with Mexico and Columbia.

I also wonder as to why a WPS player such as Parker can't find a spot on the pitch. I know she stunk against the Germans but she must have something to get a WPS contract.

I hope to Labbe, Stewart, and Scott get some experience at this level if they are to be part of the future.

This team should count themselves lucky as they get another shot at redemption at the London 2012 Olympics assuming they qualify.

So it's up to you girls are you heroes or zeros ?

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The other good news is we played at Rudolf Harbig Stadion in Dresden last September and will be comfortable with surroundings, while the Nigerians will be feeling their way around the city and the field.

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Canada the heavy favourite with all the bookmakers today.

Betting $1 on Canada will return you $1.25 to $1.50

Betting $1 on Nigeria will return you $3.00 to $4.00


The odds are in fact at a low of 1.62 (William Hill) to a high of 1.94 at 32 RED Canada/ 3.25 to 4.6 Nigeria

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Can't help but wonder what might have been. Watching the group B matches (JPN, ENG, MEX, NZ), i have to conclude that these sides are not very good. I recall the disappointment of Canada getting drawn in a group with Germany, yet here I am watching ENG and find that even though they are leading, they are terrible.

Oh by that way, the refereeing in this game is terrible. Heard mention that it's a canadian crew.

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starting XI - LeBlanc, Nault, Zurrer, Chapman, Wilkinson, Schmidt, Kyle, Matheson, Sinclair, Tancredi, Filigno

Yes that's the one soft group. The other three are very, very tough - ergo the 24 in 2015.

Carol Anne Chenard was in the middle, American and Slovenian on the touchlines.

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You know, just thought of some of our missed scoring chances so far at this WC and how they may have gone if Belanger was not injured. She seemed to have a nice touch around the net and put in some nice goals in 2010.... Could have, should have... Guess we will see in the Olympic Qualifying!

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