Falconets not W’Cup favourites –Mbachu


Former Super Falcons forward has said Nigeria should not be regarded as favourites for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title.

The competition will begin in Papua New Guinea on November 13 and the Falconets arrived at the country on Wednesday.

The Falconets, who are in Group B, will begin their campaign at the competition on November 13 against Japan before playing Canada on November 16. Their last match will be against Spain four days later.

Nigeria finished twice as runners-up at the competition – in Germany 2010 when they lost 2-0 to Germany and in Canada 2014 when they lost 1-0 to the Germans after extra time.

The Falconets’ team to Papua New Guinea 2016 include three overseas-based players – Swedish club IFKL Stersund goalkeeper Christy Ohiaeriaku and strikers Chinwendu Ihezuo of BIIK Kazygurt of Kazakhstan and Aminat Yakubu of Belarusian side, Minsk. The other 19 players are home-based.

But former Rivers Angels forward Mbachu said Nigeria are not prepared enough to be favourites for the title.

“The Falconets are in the competition to win it after finishing second twice but I believe that they are not favourites for the title because they didn’t prepare very well for the tournament,” she said.

“Winning titles come with good preparations – as we can see with the Flamingoes, who failed to leave their group at the U-17 Women’s World Cup because they didn’t prepare well for it. They couldn’t even score a goal.

“The Falconets didn’t prepare well for the World Cup and anywhere they get to in the competition will be good enough for them. The teams that want to win the title began preparation for the competition a long time ago but our team did all their training at home and didn’t play any big friendly match. That sort of preparation cannot fetch us the World Cup.”

She added, “It is a deviation from what obtained in the past where the team spent some time here and spent up to a month outside the country preparing. The results were always different from when they prepared alone at home. Nigerians should not expect much from the team at the World Cup just like the Flamingoes.”

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