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Oshoala: Falcons Can Win World Cup

-Nigeria Striker Tips England, France To Go Far

By Johnny Edward:
Super Falcons and Liverpool Ladies striker Asisat Oshoala believes the experiences gained at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada last year will come in handy for Nigeria at this year’s senior Women’s World Cup, also in Canada.

Oshoala, who was named the first BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, and starred last year at the junior championship, however admits that the Nigerian ladies are in a tough group but the team’s ambition is to go all the way.

“Nigeria performed well in the competition (reaching the final) and I think that will help us at this World Cup, although the tournament won’t be anything like the junior one,” Oshoala told the Liverpool Ladies website on Monday.

“We are in a tough group, but I think it’s going to be a good outing for us. Having some tough teams in the group will really help the girls to prepare well. For a team to qualify they have to be a very good side.

“In 2011 we didn’t qualify out of the group so it would be nice to achieve that, but I’m not going to say we just want to reach the knockout stages because the aim of every team is to win the trophy.”

She also tipped France and England to go far in the competition. She added: “Every team in the tournament will be strong having reached the finals but I think France and England can reach the latter stages. Fara is also going to the tournament with England and I am sure it is going to be a good competition for both teams.

“Nigeria have played well in our qualifiers, but I have also seen some England matches and I know what I saw in their friendly games too. They are a very strong side and no one would want to meet them in the knockout stages.”

“Yes they were good experiences. The Under-20s tournament was also held in Canada and I think it will help me having played there before,” Oshola added. “Nigeria performed well in the competition (reaching the final) and I think that will help us at this World Cup, although the tournament won’t be anything like the junior one.

“We are in a tough group, but I think it’s going to be a good outing for us. Having some tough teams in the group will really help the girls to prepare well. For a team to qualify they have to be a very good side.

“In 2011 we didn’t qualify out of the group so it would be nice to achieve that, but I’m not going to say we just want to reach the knockout stages because the aim of every team is to win the trophy.”

She also tipped France and England to go far in the competition. She added: “Every team in the tournament will be strong having reached the finals but I think France and England can reach the latter stages. Fara is also going to the tournament with England and I am sure it is going to be a good competition for both teams.

“Nigeria have played well in our qualifiers, but I have also seen some England matches and I know what I saw in their friendly games too. They are a very strong side and no one would want to meet them in the knockout stages.”

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