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Perpetual Nkwocha to equal Enyeama’s record

16 June 2015, 17:19

Lagos - Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama may hold Nigeria’s all time appearance record with 101 games, but his record is set to be matched by another Nigerian; this time from the senior women’s team.

Enyeama, who made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2002 in a friendly against Kenya in Lagos, made his 101st appearance for the Eagles when they beat Chad 2-0 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last weekend.

And in faraway Canada, Super Falcons striker Perpetua Nkwocha will win her 101st senior cap for Nigeria if she tastes action in Wednesday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D clash with the United States of America in Vancouver.

This will bring her at par with Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Vincent Enyeama.

The elegant striker, who won her first cap for Nigeria in a friendly with Ghana’s Black Queens in Lagos in May 1999, won her 100th cap when she came in for Desire Oparanozie against Australia in Winnipeg on Friday.

Also read: Why I invited Perpetua Nkwocha - Falcons coach

Before the 3-3 draw with Sweden in Winnipeg on Monday, June 8, Nkwocha had been one of only two Nigerians to score at the FIFA Women’s World Cup since Nkechi Egbe netted a famous equalizer against Brazil in the quarter finals of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the United States of America. That match, played in Washington, went to extra time before the Brazilians triumphed.

Nkwocha scored Nigeria’s only goal at the 6th FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany four years ago, netting in the 1-0 defeat of Canada in Dresden on July 5, 2011. But the Falcons failed to progress after earlier losing by the same margin to France and host Germany.

Not only did Nkwocha become Nigeria’s first woman ‘Centurion’ when she came in for Oparanozie against Australia, in a surprise 2-0 defeat, she also became the oldest player in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, at 39 years and 19 days. The previous older of the record, Meg of Brazil, was 39 years 18 days when she featured at the 1995 finals in Sweden.

-Soccer Laduma

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