Nigeria ’ s Super Falcons face a daunting task of progressing to the Round of 16 of the Women ’ s World Cup in France when they face Korea Republic at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble , on Wednesday.
The Falcons were beaten 3 – 0 in their opening match by Norway and are well aware that another defeat could be fatal to their hopes of progressing to the next round .
Francisca Ordega , who was slammed for her hairdo and make- up after the first game on Saturday , is still hopeful that the Nigerians will qualify from the group.
“ Our plan is to qualify for the next round , ” Ordega told FIFA . com.
“ We don’ t want to go home , so the next two games are very , very important . We are going to fight .
We are going to do everything we can to go through . ”
Falcons vice- captain Asisat Oshoala urged her teammates to remain focused ahead of the crunch clash .
“ Everyone , just keep being yourself , put in more effort , stay concentrated on the pitch; it has to be 100 per cent on the pitch.
Just stick to the game plan and always remember where you are supposed to be at every point in time , ” Oshoala said in her post- match interview on Tuesday.
Coach Thomas Dennerby will be without defender Faith Michael for the game .
The Pitea IF of Sweden defender was injured in a clash with goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi during Saturday ’ s 3 – 0 loss to Norway and will take no further part in the championship .
In Michael ’ s absence , Chidinma Okeke, who featured for Nigeria at the 2018 U – 20 Women ’ s World Cup , will start at right – back .
Okeke was impressive against the Norwegians when she replaced Michael in the 53 rd minute on Saturday .
“It changes our plans a bit definitely because her (Michael) speed is very useful when you play with three in the backline .
We will see what will happen about that, ” Dennerby said in his post-match interview on Tuesday.
Korea Republic have never faced Nigeria at this level and they are without a win in their last four matches.
Striker Jung Seolbin is aware of the threat the Falcons can pose.
“ African players are very flexible and they also seem to perform well under the hot weather , ” Seolbin told FIFA . com ahead of the game .
“ Speed could be another factor for us in this match because I think they ’ re even faster than European sides we’ ve faced before . ”
Also , Korea winger Lee Geummin was more specific about their opponents on Wednesday, stating clearly that they were not good as the Falcons .
“ Nigerian defenders are quick , skillful with their feet , and calm under pressure, but I also saw they lose in one- on- one situations and their defensive organisation is not that solid.
“ They’ re good individually , but not so much as a whole team