2016 AWCON Super Falcons are not favourites anymore, can they win 10th title?

The Super Falcons won the the 2014 edition, winning all five of their games, scoring 16 goals and conceding three.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will on Sunday, November 20 face Mali in their opening game of the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON).

The Nigeria's Senior Women’s team are in Group B alongside  Ghana, Kenya and Mali.

Super Falcons play The Super Falcons are the defending champions of AWCON (Twitter/NFF)

ALSO READ: Super Falcons do the mannequin challenge

Having won seven titles (nine if you include the 1991 and 1995 editions which were played in a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers' format) the Super Falcons are the powerhouse of African women’s football.

They won the 2014 edition, winning all five of their games, scoring 16 goals and conceding three.

Super Falcons goalkeepers play Super Falcons goalkeepers (Twitter/NFF)

In this championship, however, the Super Falcons have not arrived in the best form and are not exactly hot favourites. They failed to qualify for Rio 2016 Olympic Games as they were knocked out by Equatorial Guinea and also could not win any medal at 2015 All Africa Games.

Super Falcons defenders play Super Falcons have not been in best ahead of 2016 AWCON (Twitter/NFF)

 

These two cases show that the Super Falcons are not the power house they once were in Africa and other teams will be very confident ahead of the 2016 AWCON.

Super Falcons midfielders play Super Falcons are not hot favourites ahead of the 2016 AWCON (Twitter/NFF)

 

Teams want to beat Nigeria, we will work extra hard to retain the title," Super Falcons coach Florence Omagbemi who won four AWCON titles as a player told BBC Sport.

Super Falcons coaches play Coach Florence Omagbemi (second from right) says teams want to beat the Super Falcons (Twitter/NFF)

ALSO READ: Check out Super Falcons final squad for 2016 AWCON

"We are currently rebuilding a new team under a new coach and I believe we're more like the underdogs going into the tournament, which makes us freer to express ourselves on the pitch," Falcons star Asisat Oshoala admitted in an interview with Complete Sports.

Super Falcons forwards play Asisat Oshoala (third from right) has admitted that the Super Falcons are not favourites ahead of 2016 AWCON (Twitter/NFF)

Host Cameroon will pose a big threat to Nigeria having finished runners-up and third place at the last two editions.(2012 and 2014).

They beat the Super Falcons 1-0 in the third-place match to win bronze at the 2012 AWCON.

Cameroon also have reigning African Women's Player of the Year, Gaelle Enganamouit who just returned from injury to boost their chances of winning their first AWCON title.

Gaelle Enganamouit play Gaelle Enganamouit has returned from injury to boost Cameroon's chances of winning (Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

 

Along with Nigeria and Cameroon, South Africa are the only country that have qualified for all the editions of AWCON. Banyana Banyana have been runners-up three times (2000, 2008 and 2012).

Banyana Banyana play Banyana Banyana have been to all the editions of AWCON (SAFA)

 

They face Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Egypt in Group A.

Group A: Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt

Group B: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mali

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.