Nigeria's Onome Ebi will once again lead out the Super Falcons against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa for their curtain-raiser at the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco.
Matching Perpetua Nkwocha's legend: Onome Ebi's WAFCON 2022 challenge
Onome Ebi will be hoping to equal two of Perpetua Nkwocha's records at WAFCON 2022 in a bid crowned as an unarguable Super Falcons legend
As the West African giants chase a record-extending 10th WAFCON title in Morocco, one player will be hoping to confirm her legendary status at the tournament. That player, captain Onome Ebi.
Having operated alongside but in the shadows of the one undisputed legend of the Super Falcons, Perpetua Nkwocha and currently playing alongside an undeniable future legend of the team in Asisat Oshoala, the 2022 tourney provides Ebi perhaps the last chance to stamp her legendary status and hog the headlines again.
Onome Ebi's national team record
The 39-year-old Ebi already set the tone for crowning herself as a legend of this team when she became the first African woman to play in five separate World Cups, surpassing Nkwocha's four appearances.
Having made the squad to Morocco, Ebi has equalled another of Nkwocha's records, featuring in seven (7) editions of the continental tournament.
The final gem in her crown would be matching Nkwocha's record of winning five (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014) WAFCON titles, as Ebi is just one title short having won four (2010, 2014, 2016, 2018) already. Winning this tournament would be her coronation moment as a legend of the Super Falcons.
Ebi made her tournament debut for the Super Falcons at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup held in the USA, before going on to feature in the 2007 (China), 2011 (Germany), 2015 (Canada), and 2019 (France) World Cups.
The Super Falcons defender also represented Nigeria at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making three (3) appearances at the Games.
Ebi was included in the 2008 WAFCON squad, playing in the tournament for the first time. Coincidentally, the first time in the history of the competition that the Super Falcons would not make it to the final.
Onome Ebi's WAFCON record
Following her 2008 WAFCON debut and subsequent disappointment, Ebi was crowned continental champion at the 2010 edition held in South Africa.
Ebi has made every WAFCON squad since then, winning another title alongside Nkwocha at the 2014 WAFCON in Namibia. She then helped the 2016 squad to victory at the tournament held in Cameroon, before clinching one more WAFCON crown in 2018.
The longevity of Ebi's career means she might still be in contention for selection when the 2024 WAFCON rolls by, where she might attain the outright records for both WAFCON competition appearances and titles. But to stand a chance of setting that record, she must attain success in this year's edition.
Onome Ebi's club career
Like most Super Falcons, Ebi started her club career in Nigeria, playing first for Bayelsa Queens during the 2008 season. Then, she secured her first overseas move to Pitea in the Swedish female league in 2009 and then Djurgarden in 2010.
Ebi played two seasons in Turkey, turning out for Düvenciler Lisesi Spor (now Lüleburgaz 39 Spor) and Ataşehir Belediyespor between 2011 and 2013.
The 39-year-old defender returned to the Swedish League with Sunnana SK before moving to Belarusian side FC Minsk in 2014. After two seasons, Ebi left for the Chinese League to play for Henan Jianye for three seasons.
The Super Falcons captain recently returned to Minsk at the start of the 2021 season.