The national U-20 women’s team will play it guardedly against their Brazilian opponents
The Falconets will on Wednesday morning in Saitama hope to keep pace ahead of Brazil by either beating them or getting a draw that will keep them top of Group B standing ahead of their last match against Italy. A win will virtually guarantee a place in the next round of the competition.
The Falconets were too good for South Korea and showed their physical side against the puny Koreans but the Brazilians will probably match this physical advantage so it will be left for the experience of players like Desire Oparanozie, who scored against South Korea and Ebere Orji, to make the difference.
The team trained on Monday and Coach Edwin Okon’s emphasis was on concentration and that his players must not in any way underrate the Brazilians despite their 1-1 draw with Italy.
“You saw how they came back in the dying minutes of the match to score their equalizer,” Coach Okon told the players.
“It shows that they are a team that you should not dismiss so easily. Yes, Italy had a player sent off, but we have to be careful.”
The training was conducted at 3pm, Japan time, and the time for match against Brazil. The weather is expected to be warm with an average temperature of 29o C. The kick-off time in Nigeria will be 7am.
“This is a tournament that a game can change in five minutes that is why my players must know the importance of being focused till the last minute," Coach Okon added. The Falconets have to be tactically organised just as Italy showed against the Brazilians and take their chances.
Both Josephine Chukwunonye and Oparanozie have been declared fit for the encounter after suffering some knocks against the South Koreans.
In head to head meetings, both countries have one win each with identical 3-2 score-lines. Nigeria won in 2004 in the group stage and Brazil exacted revenge in 2006 in the quarter final.