By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria women’s football team, Super Falcons, will be out for a tough battle after former world champions Japan named a strong squad ahead of an international friendly slated for early October.
In releasing the names of players, Japan coach Futoshi Ikeda drafted in foreign based defensive trio of West Ham’s Risa Shimizu, AS Roma’s Risa Shimizu and Linkopings’ Saori Takarada along with US based duo of Hina Sugita (Portland Thorns)and Fuka Nagano (North Carolina).
The two-time AFC Women’s Asian Cup champions, will be meeting Randy Waldrum’s team for the first time since 2004.
For the Japanese side, they are unbeaten in their last six international matches in all competitions.
Nigeria will seek to bounce back from a trophy-less Women African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) campaign plus a recent double defeats to United States, after losing the first match 3-0 on September 3, before they recorded a 2-1 defeat in Washington DC three days later.
Japan have already qualified for the 2023 World Cup as semi-finalists of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, while Nigeria had achieved similar feat at 2022 WAFCON.
Before this year, Nigeria had won WAFCON nine times.
The now potential cracker between the African and Asian giants will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the Noevir Stadium in Kobe.