Sports

World Cup qualification is my goal, Oshoala vows

By Oviri Kelvin

Four-time African Women Footballer of the Year winner, Asisat Oshoala said her main goal in the Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco is to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Oshoala said winning the WAFCON for a record of ten times for Nigeria is a secondary priority as the primary is focused on getting the ticket to the global arena next year.

The Barcelona Femini star, who became the first African female footballer to win the Pichichi award last season and the second African after Cameroonian Samuel Eto, brushed off any impending threat from the South African team adding that when the Super Falcons get to that phase, they will cross it. Bayana Bayana of South Africa, rivals to the Super Falcons, were defeated by the latter in the final of the 2018 edition of WAFCON and are upbeat to end the dominance of Nigeria in the tourney.

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Oshoala thinks the tourney is not all about South Africa that are in the same group C with Nigeria, Botswana and Burundi because there are other stronger sides like Cameroon and Morocco in the tourney.

“I don’t think the opening game is a decider of the tournament, and by the way, it’s not only South Africa we will be facing. It’s a whole tournament,” Oshoala told CAF. “We are not going to be seated talking tough about just one team [South Africa]. Obviously, they are a very strong team, a very competitive one as well, The Trumpet gathered.

Maybe the mindset of our team and theirs may not be the same, but we have the likes of Cameroon, Morroco, and other great teams in Africa to face. “We are just basically focused on working on ourselves and we are not so bothered about playing South Africa. When we get to the phase of playing them, we will cross it,” She stated.

The Barcelona Femini striker, who will feature for the fifth time in WAFCON, stressed that she will replicate the same form that pipped her ahead of other contenders for the Pichichi award in the continental tournament which she is desirous of getting a Women’s World Cup qualifying ticket.

She continued: “First of all, I think we need to understand football, talking about shifting focus and replicating the same performances, I am always ready to give 100 per cent whenever I am given the opportunity to play.

I am in a positive mood going into the tournament. “For me personally, the main goal is to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, because, at the end of the day, that is all that matters and every other thing coming after or with it is just secondary.

The primary aim is to qualify, of course, we want to win [WAFCON] but the main goal is to qualify for the World Cup,” Oshoala reiterated

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