Nigeria: South Africa and Nigeria to Face Off in ‘Do or Die’ Battle for Olympic Women’s Football Qualification

Nigeria: South Africa and Nigeria to Face Off in ‘Do or Die’ Battle for Olympic Women’s Football Qualification

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

In a highly anticipated showdown, Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, has issued a stern warning to the Super Falcons, indicating that the final round of qualification for the women’s football event at the 2024 Olympics will be a ‘do or die’ encounter for both teams, 

South Africa and Nigeria, both of whom failed to qualify for the women’s football event at the previous Olympics in Tokyo, will clash for a spot in this summer’s Games in Paris after successfully navigating their respective third-round qualifiers.

As the reigning African champions, South Africa secured a 4-0 aggregate victory over Tanzania to keep their hopes alive, while Nigeria secured a narrow victory over Cameroon with a 15th-minute goal from Esther Okoronkwo in a grueling 180-minute battle over two legs.

Ellis expressed the magnitude of the upcoming match against Nigeria, stating, “It will be do-or-die.” She acknowledged the challenge that lies ahead but also expressed confidence in her team’s ability to compete at the highest level. She highlighted the importance of having experienced players on the field and striking the right balance between youth and experience.

The CAF Women’s Coach of The Year emphasized the need for early and thorough preparation, indicating that an early training camp would significantly enhance their chances against the nine-time African champions.

The first leg of the final playoff is scheduled for April 1 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, with the return leg taking place in South Africa eight days later. The team that emerges victorious over the two legs will secure qualification for the Olympics.

The clash between South Africa and Nigeria promises to be an intense battle between two highly competitive teams. The determination displayed by both sides to secure a place in the prestigious Olympic event underscores the significance of this encounter.

Fans and football enthusiasts alike eagerly await the outcome of this ‘do or die’ battle, which will determine which team represents Africa in the women’s football competition at the 2024 Olympics.

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