Victorious homecoming for Toni Payne, New Super Falcons Midfielder.

Super Falcons midfielder, Toni Oyedupe Payne visited her country of birth for the first time and it was a memorable one for her. She was born and raised in Alabama, USA to Nigerian parents in 1995. Payne started playing football at a young age with her sister Nicole who is also a Super Falcons player.

Toni Payne

She had not been to Nigeria but the qualifiers for the AWCON is her chance of coming to Africa. The former Ajax midfielder got Randy Waldrum's confidence to start the game and she did not disappoint.

Payne has played for the US U-17 national team and she helped them to win the CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship in 2012. She was eligible to play for the US at senior level but she chose the Falcons and she has not regretted it.

Her arrival has brought life back to the Super Falcons midfield and she brings something extra to the team because she plays from the left side of midfield and she is the only left footed midfielder in the team.

She made her debut for the Falcons at the Antalya Cup in Turkey which was won by the Super Falcons. She made her debut against CSKA Moscow and also played against Uzbekistan. She is pacy and skillful and creates many chances. She also scored her first Super Falcons goal at the tournament.

She assisted Rasheedat Ajibade for Nigeria's last minute equalizer in the 3-3 draw with Portugal in USA. She also assisted Michelle Alozie in the game against Portugal and got an assist against Ghana when she lifted a corner kick into the box and it met Uchenna Kanu who nodded home for Nigeria's second goal.

She did not come for the Aisha Buhari Cup because of issues with her visa. Unfortunately, the team played behind closed doors and she could not feel the loud and melodious trumpets and drums of the supporters club. It was a victorious homecoming for Oyedupe Payne and she will hope to help the team to get victory in Accra on Sunday.

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Bethel Kalu is a passionate sports writer whose love for writing began as a young boy. He has been writing sports for 7 years has over 500 articles written by him.

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