U20 Women’s World Cup: Nigeria’s athleticism scares France coach Haziraj

The Little Blues’ handler shared her worries about the Africans ahead of Thursday’s match with the Falconets.Information Guide Nigeria

Sonia Haziraj, the coach of France’s U20 team, said that in order to defeat Nigeria, her team needs perform at its peak.

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The Falconets, who are vying for their first world championship, will be the Little Blues’ first opponent in the Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup.

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At the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, both teams are neck-and-neck, and a win would increase either team’s chances of moving on to the knockout round.

Speaking ahead of the Group C encounter, the former midfielder talked up the Africans’ abilities and the threat they could pose on Thursday evening.

“I’m extremely wary of Nigeria. I have massive respect for the African game and Nigeria have a number of players who possess real quality,” Haziraj told the Fifa website.

“The Nigerians always get out of their group at the youth tournaments. I’ve watched them and they’re a well-drilled, hard-working side.

“They have great pace and are very athletic, and we’ll have to be ready to match them in that respect.”

“As for Canada, they’re a solid side. When I look at the teams we faced in the Sud Ladies Cup, I can see parallels with the sides we’ll come up against in Costa Rica,” she continued.

“USA, with their pace and direct attacking play, are similar to Nigeria, whilst the Netherlands are very much like the Canadians in that they’re really disciplined, athletic and afford you very little in the way of space.

“When it comes to the South Koreans, we haven’t got too much of an insight. What we do know is that, just like all Asian teams, they’re a very tough side, a strong unit and cover a lot of ground.”

She has also set her sights on emerging as world champion after the final billed for August 28.

She added: “We’ve got some top players and so our target is clearly to go all the way and win the competition.

“That’s not to sound arrogant, it’s just that we’ve got players with real quality who’re capable of operating in completely different systems from one game to the next. That element of unpredictability is one of our strengths.”JAMB Result

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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