Former Super Falcons coach, Ismaila Mabo has warned the team against a slip against their Kenyan opponents at the ongoing African Women’s Cup of Nations on Saturday. Mabo said that anything short of a victory could place the Falcons in a fight against Cameroon who already finished top of Group A with nine points. He said the players must be really careful as other teams were rising and ready to make things difficult for the African champions.
“It is very glaring now that the Falcons are no longer the feared team they were years ago in Africa. The other teams on the continent have been doing a lot of catch up lately and this could be seen in the match against Ghana,” Mabo told Punch.
“Their first match against Mali was easily won because the Malians showed the Falcons a lot of respect.
“Although the officiating in their game against Ghana was bad, the Falcons didn’t play as a team. They depended mostly on the individual brilliance, and I believe that is the result of not planning well for the competition.”
He added, “Their next match against Kenya is a must-win for the team to avoid Cameroon in the semifinals. The Cameroonians have a better team and play more as a unit than Nigeria. If the Falcons fail to beat Kenya and they end up as second in their group, their title defence would be tougher than expected.
“As hosts, Cameroon have the support of the fans. They have shown that they can grind out results against tough teams because of their showing against South Africa in their second match.
“They haven’t won it before and have finished second a couple of times, so meeting them in the semifinal will make the match very tough for the Falcons.”
The tournament which started on 19 November will end on 3 December.