AFCON qualifier: Omagbemi picks Oshoala, 17 others for Senegal

Asisat Oshoala Super Falcons

Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi, has selected 18 players for the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier against the Terenga Lioness of Senegal on Friday.

Omagbemi, 41, who was placed temporarily in charge of the 11-time African champions, initially called up 40 ladies for the crucial tie against the West African nation, but had her squad pruned to almost half that number.

Leading the bunch is 2015 BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, who recently swapped Liverpool for Arsenal in the English Women’s Super League.

The 21-year-old is joined by regular suspects, Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega and Ngozi Okobi. Others are skipper, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Umea IK of Sweden star, Rita Chikwelu, Hungary-based Ebere Orji and goalkeeper Ibubeleye Whyte.

Omagbemi said it was tough picking the 18 players for the crucial clash against Senegal given the quality of players in camp.

“It’s not easy for me to drop anyone for this game. I wish I could go to Dakar with all the players but I cannot,” the former skipper told the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official site on Tuesday evening.

She added: “We have to keep working together to achieve our common goal which is winning. We are going to Senegal to win.

“Not going to Senegal does not mean that you are not part of the team. You may not be part of the team going to Dakar now but you will still have the opportunity to fight for a place in the team for the return leg next week.

“Keep working hard till we return from Dakar and support your teammates going to Senegal with prayers for the team to be successful. The team’s success means everyone’s success.”

The Super Falcons were drawn into the second round of the qualifying series and a victory over Senegal will secure a ticket to Cameroon for the biennial tournament slated for November.