By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Ahead of Thursday’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) quarter-final clash between Super Falcons of Nigeria and Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, Nigeria coach, Randy Waldrum is optimistic that his team can conquer the Cameroonians.
While speaking to journalists in a pre-match press conference, the coach opined that defeating Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Qualifiers can serve as a testing ground for the nine-time African Champions to pass Cameroon’s test.
“During the Qualifiers, we played strong teams from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire that to me are World Cup representatives by Africa standard. Hence, nothing has been so easy for us. We have taken difficult paths with the players passing the tests and I expect the players to take the path again for the next game and do that again.” Says Randy Waldrum.
Nigeria has defeated Cameroon by slim margins in both sides’ last two (2) outings in the competitions, with a 1-0 win over today’s opponents in the 2016 WAFCON final before winning on penalties in the 2018 WAFCON semi-final after a goalless draw.
Waldrum said: “We have to respect history in football when countries play against countries, especially amongst African countries. One thing I also believe is that history came before now. It doesn’t matter if we have more wins or they have more wins or what happens during the Qualifiers. What really matters now is what is happening at the moment.
“This tournament won’t be won by history or by the fact that Nigeria has won it the most times but will be won based on what the players put in on the field of play.”
Nigeria has won two of its opening three group games against Botswana (2-0) and Burundi (4-0) after its opening game defeat to South Africa (2-1).
Cameroon won one of its three group games against Tunisia (2-0) after draws with Zambia (0-0) and debutants, Togo (1-1).
A win for either side will guarantee a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification and a place in the semi-final against the host, Atlas Lionesses of Morocco.
The losing team will play Botswana in a bid to become one of the two teams that will represent Africa at the World Cup Playoffs Tournament next year in New Zealand where three out of ten teams will qualify for the World Cup.
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