Rio Olympics: NFF Optimistic Of Falcons, U-23 Qualification | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rio Olympics: NFF Optimistic Of Falcons, U-23 Qualification

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is optimistic that the Super Falcons and the U-23 team will qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Consequently, the federation has promised to give all necessary assistance towards ensuring the success of these teams in their qualifiers.

This assurance was given on Wednesday by the NFF Head of Technical committee, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, during a crisis meeting he held with the coaches of both teams.

The meeting was necessitated by the unimpressive performances of both teams in the first leg of their qualifiers at the weekend.

While Falcons was held to a 1-1 in Abuja, U-23 managed a slim 2-1 victory over Congo U-23 team in Port Harcourt.

After the meeting, Anyansi-Agwu said that the two teams would make progress in their different qualification races on the premise of his deliberation with the coaches.

“We had very useful deliberations and I can tell you that both Coaches are very confident. They are not under –rating the opposition; just that they believe in their teams to make progress despite expected tough games away from home.

“From the discussions, we were able to decipher the level of support that the two teams will need to succeed. We also have immense experience of the kind of reception that the two countries offer to visiting teams, which is not flattering. We will give the tickets our very best shot.”

The Falcons will play Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Sunday, August 2. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are the only countries to have won the biennial African Women Championship since it was launched 17 years ago, with the Falcons winning seven times.

As for the U-23 boys, Pointe Noire is usually a very unfriendly terrain for visitors.

“We are aware of what odds will be set against us by the home team when we go to Congo. There are no illusions. But we are up to the task. We are going there strictly for the business of 90 minutes, and that is what will matter.

“Without being immodest, I like to say that I have been in this situation several times with various National Teams. I have always come out victorious. Of course, we will need the maximum support of the NFF to succeed,” Siasia said.

Siasia’s team qualified for the 11th All-Africa Games despite drawing 0-0 with Zambia in Abuja. A 2-1 win in Lusaka sent the team to Brazzaville.

On his part, Falcons’ Head Coach Chris Danjuma assured that his girls will play the match of their lives against the bitter rivals in Bata on August 2.

“We did not go to the last Olympic Games. We will throw everything into the second leg in Equatorial Guinea and then look forward to the final qualifying round.

“We will throw everything into the second leg in Equatorial Guinea to guarantee decent result and then look forward to the final qualifying round.

“The task is quite daunting but not insurmountable, we will prepare well and steel ourselves for whatever banter the Equatorial Guineans will throw at us,” said the former Plateau United coach to