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Women's Olympic Qualifying CAF

Super Falcons target Olympic return - Ngozi Okobi

20:49 GMT+3 02/09/2019
Nigeria women, Super Falcons
The West Africans missed the last two editions of the quadrennial women's tournament but will seek to return next year

Ngozi Okobi has her eyes set on inspiring Nigeria's return to the women's tournament at the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years.

The Super Falcons, who won nine African titles in 11 outings, featured three times between 2000 to 2008 as lone African representative at the quadrennial competitions.

However, the African queens missed the last two editions after they were denied a qualification ticket by Cameroon to London 2012 and Equatorial Guinea to Rio 2016 four years ago.

Earlier in June, Thomas Dennerby's side reached the Women's World Cup knockout stage in France for the first time since 1999.

As a result, the Eskilstuna United midfielder has backed her side to end their qualification jinx, beginning in a qualifier against Algeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
 
"It's always fun to be with my teammates since the World Cup in France and everyone in camp is happy," Okobi told Goal.

"We have made so much improvement, at least people can see a team playing no just individual. We are not where we hope to be but we are making progress.

"We've not had much quality in training, but ideas show that we have a target. It's great that we are regrouping now as this will help us to blend well in time with more quality players around.

"We got a good result in the first leg and our priority is to win convincingly against Algeria. Unfortunately, we've not qualified for the last two editions but our target now is to return to the Olympics.

"It's the dream of every player to be at the Olympics and that is enough motivation for all of us in the team to work extra hard in qualifying for Tokyo next year."

Dennerby's side holds a 2-0 first-leg lead over the Algerians and they will hope to secure their passage to the third round of qualifying in style at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Tuesday.

The winner between the two nations over two legs will face either Cote d'Ivoire or Mali in the third round of the qualification series.