NFF Congratulates Ajibade, Mimi Calvin-Onwuka

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Rasheedat Ajibade celebrating her goal that tamed the Lionesses of Cameroon

The Nigeria Football Federation has congratulated Super Falcons’ forward Rasheedat Ajibade for emerging as joint top-scorer of the just-ended 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco, where the Super Falcons earned a ticket to the FIFA World Cup finals even as the team failed to realize its ambition of a 10th triumph.

NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi said: “We rejoice with Rahseedat Ajibade for her emergence as joint top-scorer of the tournament and we implore her to continue to show even more prolificity and commitment in the jerseys of club and country. Her three goals surely helped the Super Falcons to win a World Cup ticket. Our team would certainly have been in the Final if not for the incident that led to her expulsion in the semi final match against the host nation.

“She probably would have won the award outright if she finished the game and played one more match.”

Ajibade was ejected after 70 minutes of the semi final against Morocco at the Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah, with Nigeria already one woman down, and the Falcons played the next 50 minutes (of regulation and extra time) with only nine players, losing in the ensuing penalty shoot-out.

In the third-place match against Zambia on Friday, a fierce shot by Evarine Suzeni Katongo in the 28th minute struck the upright and bounced on the back of hardworking goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie for the only goal of the match, with the Falcons failing to convert any of a slew of chances they created.

Sanusi also congratulated Mimisen Calvin-Onwuka, who played the role of Assistant Referee 1 in the Final match between Morocco and South Africa on Saturday, saying her stellar performance alongside referee Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda did not go unnoticed by the global football community. He urged her to continue to develop herself with available top-level courses and programmes in order to continue her rise to global reckoning.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets have continued their preparations for next month’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals scheduled for Costa Rica. The girls, who have been training in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja will depart for a one-week training tour in Barranquilla, Colombia, from where the delegation will fly into San Jose for the finals slated for 10th – 28th August.