Super Falcons and Portsmouth Ladies striker, Ini Umotong was in the Nigeria’s squad to the Women’s World Cup ending today in Canada. Although she did not get the chance to play but she insists making the squad is big deal. Read what she told Punch’s ’Tana Aiyejina in an interview:
How did you feel when you were named in the Falcons’ World Cup squad despite not being part of the qualifiers for the event?
Representing your country at the World Cup is every footballer’s dream, and being given the chance to represent Nigeria among so many very good talents was just incredible. I was really excited.
The Falcons crashed out in the group stage of the Women’s World Cup in Canada. What lessons did you learn from the outing?
I think our main problem was that we came out against Australia thinking it would be an easy game, so we let our guard down massively for the game. The biggest learning curve would be to treat every game like a World Cup final.
Nigeria international striker Anthony Ujah has revealed he turned down ‘bigger financial offers’ from Russia and China in order to secure his preferred move to Werder Bremen. The 24-year old scored 36 goals in 102 appearances for German side Cologne to attract interest from an unnamed club in China who were set to triple his wages. He also received big offers from two Russian clubs but Ujah opted for Werder Bremen to continue his development in the German Bundesliga.
Chile secured the first major trophy in their history on home soil courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Argentina in the Copa America final. Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez slotted in the winning spot-kick after Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain fired over and Ever Banega was denied by Claudio Bravo. Higuain had earlier missed from close range after 90 minutes of few chances. Sanchez came closest in extra time for Chile, who scored all four of their penalties in the shootout. Where Chile held their nerve, Argentina wilted in the shootout at the end of a performance that fell well short of the heights they reached in their 6-1 semi-final win over Paraguay. Le Albiceleste are without a major trophy in the last 22 years since winning the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador.
England outlasted two-time champions Germany in extra time to secure third-place thanks to a lone Fara Williams penalty. It was a first-ever win for England over Germany in 21 attempts after a match of end-to-end action and endeavour from both teams. The action started on eight minutes as a Tabea Kemme’s cross caused chaos for England, forcing Steph Houghton to hook clear off the line just moments after receiving treatment for an ankle injury. Within a minute Germany striker Celia Sasic had a chance to extend her lead atop the adidas Golden Boot chart but her weak shot was easily gathered by goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
Coach Stephen Keshi has been sacked as coach of Nigeria and replaced by Shaibu Amodu, the country’s Football Federation (NFF) has announced. The move comes barely two weeks after the NFF opened an investigation into reports that Keshi applied to manage Ivory Coast while under a valid contract with Nigeria. Keshi recently claimed an un-named agent had submitted his name without his knowledge for the Ivory Coast position. An NFF statement outlined his fate.