Abuja - Football fans on Thursday in Abuja expressed optimism that the senior national women's team, Super Falcons, could retain their title at the ongoing African Women Championship (AWC) in Equatorial Guinea.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the championship kicked off on Oct. 28 and will end on Nov. 11.
The fans, who spoke with NAN after the Falcons won their second group game 3-0 against Ethiopia, said that Nigeria remained the favourite for the trophy, if they maintained their standard of play.
A coach in the FCT, Mansur Abdullah, said their game against Ethiopia was an improvement on their first match.
"As far as I am concerned, the match was an improvement on what they played against Cameroon in their opening game on Monday.
"They have improved despite the fact that Cameroon is also a good side; but the truth of the matter is that in every championship, you need to improve after each game.
"For now, I think the players have come of age and I see them coming out victorious and retaining the championship title, if they maintain the tempo''
Abdullah advised the coaching crew to use new players to test them for the challenge ahead.
"Their next match against Cote D'Ivoire will be an easy one because they have won two matches already.
"But I want to advise the coaching crew to test the abilities of new crop of players to also prepare them for the challenge ahead because the higher they go, the hotter it will become,'' the coach said.
rReacting to the victory an Abuja-based coach Bunmi Ogunkolade, said the two teams gave a good account of themselves but experience and tactical kills made the falcons superior, adding that with the teams' performance, the future of women football in Africa was very bright.
Abdullah said experience, fitness and the tactical know-how of the technical crew gave Nigeria the victory and should be commended.
He advised the women not to lose focus because they still had a long way to go in the championship.
"This is because I can see the team retaining the title; we have met one of the big countries in African football, Cameroon, and we have shown them what we are made of.
"And considering the other matches that I have watched in the other group, Falcons still remain the best," he said.
A civil servant, Blessing Adejumo, said the players should maintain their fighting spirit, to remain the best in Africa.
"The players had a good game today; they fought for every ball which gave them chance over the Ethiopians.
"They were very agile, confident on the ball and exhibited understanding among themselves.
"If they continue to play this way, they will still remain the best in Africa and even advance beyond Africa.
"The technical crew just needs to improve on some of the lapses they might have discovered because they will meet tougher countries as the championship progresses," he said.
NAN reports that Falcons will play their last group match with Cote D'Ivoire on Sunday, by 2:30 p.m. (Nigerian time).
The team had so far qualified for the finals of every edition of the championship and won six out of the previous seven editions held.