Will Play To Win, Says Ebi
The Republic of Ireland have nothing but pride to play for in their last group game against Nigeria at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but the Europeans believe beating the Super Falcons will give them something to be proud of on their way back to Dublin.
Ireland lost their first two games against Australia and Canada and currently occupy the last spot in Group B. They have no mathematical chance of advancing to the next round of the competition, yet, they must play their last game against Nigeria to complete their group stage obligations.
They know they have nothing to lose and therefore want to go out on the high.
Nigeria, on the other hand, sit atop the table after a battling draw with Olympic champions, Canada, and show stopper against hosts, Australia, whom they beat 3-2.
A win or draw would secure Nigeria’s place in the next round, and defeat to the Irish might even be enough if results go their way.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s game, Irish defender, Louise Quinn, says the Super Falcons “have put themselves in a brilliant position. We have seen their quality,” adding that Ireland will be playing with ‘pure pride.’
“We have put in some very good performances over the past two games but there are no points on the board.
“We want to be able to look back and know we have given it our all. There has been no doubts about that. Everyone has done everything to make sure we can get something out of those games. It’s total pride and we’re going to give it everything.”
But while the Irish promise a tough game against Nigeria, Super Falcons’ Captain, Onome Ebi, says the former African champions are primed for another victory.
The 40–year old became the one of the oldest women to have featured at the FIFA Women’s World Cup when she was introduced into the game against co-hosts, Australia, at the same venue on Thursday.
She’s also one of the few women, and the only one from the African continent, to have played in six finals, alongside Brazil’s Marta and Canada’s Christine Sinclair.
“We are very positive and looking forward to the match. The mood in camp is great and everyone is in high spirits. The win against Australia has given us the belief and the confidence to face any team. We will play for a win.
“We want Nigerians all over the world to continue to support us and believe in the team. That alone gives us great motivation. We have won one match and drawn one. We want to set the record of not losing any match in the group phase and topping our group,” Ebi told thenff.com.
“We know we still have a job to do; we are not deterred. We simply go in there and play for a win,” Ebi added.
The Falcons, top of the pool with four points, take on the ‘Girls in Green’ tomorrow night starting from 8.00 p.m. Australia time (11am Nigeria time).
Co-hosts Australia tackle Canada in the other match of the group that will be played simultaneously. The Canadians are also on four points, with the Matildas on three.