Nigeria, France battle for honours in Rennes

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The 28,000 –capacity Roazhon Park in Rennes is the venue for tonight’s big FIFA Women’s World Cup clash between Nigeria and France, with group leaders Les Bleus already qualified for the knockout rounds and the Super Falcons looking for a ticket to that corridor.

Head Coach Thomas Dennerby took his charges through a pre-match final training session on Sunday at the Stade Edmund Blanchet and reiterated that a positive mindset, as well as a calm, collected and surefooted approach, could work wonders for the Falcons against the French.

“This is important for us and I believe you can rise to the occasion just as you did against the Koreans. The French have a good team but we are also a good squad and I think we can get a result if we have that mindset that it is eleven players against eleven and we stick to our tactics for the day.

“Victory against the Koreans was very good. But I can assure that beating France would be even sweeter. It will certainly take us to the knockout stage and also win us that confidence that we can prevail against any team.”

Nigeria’s power-playing trio – Desire Oparanozie, Rita Chikwelu and Francisca Ordega – all must play with caution as they are each on a yellow card and would be ruled out of the Round of 16 if they are cautioned against the Les Bleus on Monday.

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Yet, the African champions refuse to be bothered by this and captain Desire Oparanozie told they know the approach to adopt in Rennes.

“The win over the Korea Republic taught us that so much is possible if we put our minds to it and we work hard. There is nothing to fear. We will go in there against France and give our best, and we are confident that our best will be good enough to take us to the next round.”

by Our Reporter

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