Cats and birds, just like with mice, have never gotten along and on Tuesday, November 27 they will renew their forever ongoing fracas in Accra when the Super Falcons of Nigeria take on the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in one of the semi-finals of the AWCON 2018 being held in Ghana. As we know the two teams duked it out in the finals of the same competition both in 2014 in Namibia and then again in Yaounde in 2016. In both instances, the Central Africans lost 2:0 and 1:0. So this technically speaking could be deemed a final before the actual final.
Nigeria coach Thomas Dennerby certainly believes this saying: "The match that awaits us against Cameroon promises to be exciting because it was the poster of the last two finals. Final before the latter? Why not. In any case, we have been very effective against Zambia and Equatorial Guinea with ten goals in two games. On that side, it’s going strong. Perhaps a favorable omen.”
The two teams match up very well both in terms of speed and physicality. The Lionesses have certainly come a long way from October the 27th 1998 in Kaduna where the Super Falcons handed them their worst defeat in the history with a 6:0 beating. Since then their football has only grown better and with many saying much better support by Fecafoot, as opposed to what the Super Falcons have received from both the NFA and now NFF. They have now become quite a formidable foe and have been runners-up in Africa an amazing four times (1991, 2004, 2014, 2016) . Their attack is anchored by the gargantuan Gaëlle Enganamouit (above) known not just for her unique blonde mop, but also for her bold runs and nose for the goal. This female Yekini impersonator will be a hand full for the Nigerian defenders and the only time she should be left alone, is during the singing of the national anthems and for the halftime break. Her partners upfront will be the speedy Gabrielle Onguene who ply's her trade in Russia for ZFA-CSKA and the trickster Madeleine Ngono.
Nigeria, of course, will respond with her usual suspects of talented birds. Oparanozie who proved to be the difference the last time the two locked horns will be her normal slippery self. Hopefully so will be the reigning APOY Asisat Oshola who though still wasteful, is on the cusp of reaching red-hot form as Equatorial Guinea can testify to. They will be supported by Fransisca Ordega who is certainly on the way to be named Player of the Tournament. And then let's not forget the new wunderkind Rasheedat Ajibade (below). She may just prove to be the Swedish Coaches' ace up his sleeve.
The game no doubt will be won by how well each defence is able to contain the others teams offence and on who executes the better. Regardless, it will be a real cracker with a very good chance of producing the new champion, with no disrespect to both the RSA and Mali who play in the other semifinal. The weather for tomorrow has been predicted to be partly sunny and pleasant - though even if it snowed, the game would still be hot. With many of the local fans probably not keen on watching two of their main rivals play after the ouster of their Black Queens, Nigerian fans can rest assured that thousands of their faithful will certainly be there to cheer their team on, and may make the stadium sound like a home game for the team in green and white. The Awareness Sports © crew will be arriving in Accra tonight to ensure the full coverage continues to be provided.
Get your popcorn ready.