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Women’s World Cup: Nigeria can achieve greatness, says Rasheedat Ajibade

Nigeria Super Falcons forward, Rasheedat Ajibade, said the team is limitless and can achieve anything they put their mind to as they prepare for the second round of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Ajibade said this on Monday when asked how far she thinks the Super Falcons can go at the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand following their goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland.

With the result from their final Group B game, the Nigerian girls progressed to the round of 16 in the competition after finishing second behind co-hosts, Australia.

The Super Falcons will face the winners of Group A in the Round of 16 next week Monday in what is already looking like a tough task as that could be any of England, Denmark and China.

Atletico Madrid Femini of Spain attacker, Ajibade is, however not scared as she believes she and her team-mates can defeat any of those teams to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup.

“Honestly, I must tell you that nobody believed in us because of the kind of preparations we had for the World Cup but of course, we have always believed in ourselves,” Ajibade said.

“We are limitless, we will keep pushing and we will also take each game one at a time but I can assure all Nigerians that the team is totally focused on achieving greatness.”

The Super Falcons after their 0-0 draw with Ireland ended their group campaign without defeat following a 3-2 win against Australia and a goalless draw against Canada.

After putting on a brilliant attacking display where she came up with a pre-assist to help Nigeria beat Australia in her first game after returning from suspension, Ajibade had one shot on goal against Ireland.

However, the forward still had a good game to make sure that the Super Falcons got the required result to reach the knockout stage as she was quite brilliant defensively.

Nigeria is just one of seven nations to appear at every single edition of the Women’s World Cup and the nine-time African champions will aim to qualify for the quarter-finals which they reached once in 1999 and going by what the players have been saying, the Super Falcons can also be backed to break that jinx and make the semi-finals.

Ajibade had earlier said that she believes it is high time the team got past the quarter-final stage while responding to a question from UK-based Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana.

“It is amazing to see that Nigeria has qualified for all the FIFA Women’s World Cup since inception but for me, it is high time like you said that we got out of the quarter-final stage,” Ajibade said.

“This present squad is doing its best to make sure that we get past the highest stage we have ever reached in the competition and we just don’t want to participate like we had always done in previous editions.”

Nigeria’s Super Falcons who are ranked 40th in the world are confident of stopping their next opponents from advancing to the quarter-final after shocking higher ranked countries – Olympic Champions Canada, World Cup co-host Australia and getting a draw against 22nd ranked Ireland.

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