With two two-time African Women's Player of the Year, the Nigerian women football team has set their target on the Olympic gold in the upcoming Beijing Games.
Nigeria's head coach Jossy Lad told Xinhua after a friendly warm-up match against China on Sunday that Nigeria is not afraid of any team. "People are saying that my group is a group of death, but I don't see any group of death," he said. "We have come a long way here, and we will be the survivors of the fiesta."
However, Jossy's target will soon be challenged, as they will play against Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Germany and Brazil in Group F, all the top women's teams in the world.
"In the 1999 Women's World Cup, DPR Korea was our first opponent, and we beat them," Jossy said. "We also played against Brazil. They led us 3-0 in the first half, but we leveled 3-3 in the second."
The African team is sure proud of its two two-time African Women Player of the Year, Uwak Cynthia and Perpetua Nkwocha. Cynthia scored the first goal for Nigeria in the match against China this afternoon, which helped the guest level the score 1-1 in the first half. Her fast speed and agile moves should not be neglected by any teams in the tournament.
In addition, Jossy said he had a strong bench. "My players are good in the pitch. Furthermore, I have so many valuable players on bench, and that is why I have no fear."
Nigeria's substitute Sarah Michael scored a 90th minute goal this afternoon but saw the match leveled in the injury time by China's defender Yuan Fan, who was also substituted in the second half.
Asked about his views on the rivals, Jossy said, "All the teams are dangerous for us, but we want to look equally dangerous to them as well."
Nigeria arrived in China on the previous day, and transferred to Qinhuangdao via Beijing late in the night.
(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2008)