Omagbemi: Falcons Won’t Underrate Women’s AFCON Opponents

Nigeria senior women's national team head coach, Florence Omagbemi, has stated that the Super Falcons will not underrate any of their group opponents at the 2016 Africa Women's Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Super Falcons who are current African champions were drawn in Group B with Ghana, Mali and Kenya in Sunday's draw held in Yaounde, Cameroon.

They will kick-off their title defence November 20 in Limbe against Mali before taking on Ghana three days later and Kenya on November 26, at the same venue.

Reacting to the draw, Omagbemi told thenff.com that the Falcons will give every group games the seriousness it deserves.

"We have been playing against Ghana’s Black Queens for years. I remember when the Falcons team was newly established, our first game in the qualification series for the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup was against Ghana," Omagbemi recollects.

“We have played against Mali before, and we know they are no pushovers. Now, Kenya are coming to the African championship for the first time, but from the way they qualified, after beating Algeria, they must be respected.

“Surely, we will take the games against all three countries as seriously as we have been doing in the past. You know, we are the Cup holders and every team would want to beat the Falcons.”

Omagbemi said it was only adequate preparation that will see the Falcons do well at the championship.

"We just have to keep a level head. The Black Queens of Ghana are very good and we must be ready for them. But we have no reason to fear any team. We are the champions of Africa. All we need to do is to prepare hard and go to Cameroon to defend our title," she stated.

On the strength of other teams coming to the AWCON, Omagbemi said: “This is year 2016. A number of teams on the African continent have improved and we cannot afford to look down on any team. For instance, South Africa and Zimbabwe qualified for and played at the Olympics in Brazil, at which we were absent. They gained valuable experience."

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