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Edwin Okon prepared to take risks

11 June 2015, 14:07

Winnipeg - Super Falcons head coach Edwin Edem Okon will roll the dice and take risks when the national team face Australia in the make or break 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup second Group D showdown at the Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg, New Zealand on Friday night.

The showdown will get underway by 10pm Nigerian Time.

The Falcons ranked 33rd in the world have been buoyed by their stunning 3-3 draw against 5th world ranked Sweden in the opening group clash on Monday.

Okon looked calm on the eve of what promises to be the water shed match for the rampaging Falcons against the 10th best team in world of women soccer.

''Firstly we have to win one of the remaining two group games to qualify for the Round of 16. So that means taking risks and I am prepared to do that against Australia. I do not want to leave it until the final match against USA (at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on June 22).”

Also read: Okon says Australia match is a must-win

However, Okon was not ready to reveal to News24 what his new game plan would be.

Okon said: ''Australia will be different, they tend to press the ball more. They attack with three strikers and two attacking wing-backs. They are solid in defence playing with athletic players, so we will have a new approach to this game.”

Okon has worked his magic in getting the squad into shape for the global showpiece after picking up the pieces in September 2013 where he inherited a dispirited squad after a disastrous reign by Kadiri Ikhana.

Falcons were a bundle of nerves in the first half against Sweden but after a halftime pep talk the players relaxed and they earned a draw.

Super Falcons captain Evelyn Nwabuoku said the players' nerves had settled: ''Sweden were probably the most difficult side I have faced. They were a tough team. But they are history and we gained confidence from that second half display. We are aware that Australia have good players. We will be ready and on our toes.''

Okon will be looking to Desire Oparanozie to rise to the occasion: ''Don't forget that Desire played so well for Guingamp in the 2014/15 season. I have faith in her. I am confident she will shine through for us on Friday.''

The coach said that Ngozi Okobi, Asisat Oshoala and Francisca Ordega will be relevant against Australia.

"Okobi is world class. She scored that wonder goal against Sweden. The reason is she now in the best shape of her career. She has worked hard and now reaping her rewards. The duo of Oshoala and Ordega were also crucial for us. The selected players for the World Cup are ready to perform well for the nation.''

-Soccer Laduma

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- News24


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