Following the improved performances of the Super Falcons of Nigeria in the group stage, and finishing second-best in Group B, the team’s captain – Onome Ebi feels the past is now behind with the knockout game against England poised as “the major test”.
The 40-year-old veteran defender featured for nine minutes across the games against Australia and the Republic of Ireland, coming in as a late substitute to mark her sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance, with her experience needed both on the pitch and from the sidelines.
Onome honored a pitch-side interview with the team’s media crew as the Falcons continued preparations at the Perry Park Synthetic Soccer Pitch in Queensland, as she revealed the mindset of the players.
“We’ve been preparing for this moment all year long. And it feels like the World Cup has just started.
“Whatever we did previously is behind us, and this is the beginning of the major test. The team is positive and ready to go,” she said.
Although, Osinachi Ohale and Oluwatosin Demehin have combined solidly as center-backs in front of the goalkeeper Nnadozie Chiamaka so far, in helping the Super Falcons establish a strong defensive approach in the absence of Ebi.
However, the FC Levante Las Planas defender feels agile and ready whenever the coach needs her services.
“I feel gingered, strong, and ready,” she claimed when asked about her feeling and fitness status.
“I feel blessed and fulfilled (playing in my sixth World Cup), and it finally feels like all my hard work is becoming evident for the World to see.
“When I came in as a substitute in the last game, I felt joyful playing with the team.
“We are here and not looking back with our minds fixed on winning. We assure Nigerians that the team is coming all out to face England despite the doubts and odds against us.”
The Super Falcons will know their fate when proceedings begin on Monday 7th of August 2023 by 8:30 am Nigerian time.