Nigeria women’s Under-20 star Charity Reuben is confident the Falconets will “destroy” South Africa when both sides meet next January in the final qualifying round for next year’s Women’s World Under-20 Championships.
Nigeria last weekend completed a 6-2 aggregate victory over Morocco in Benin City, Southern Nigeria to book a spot in the final round and a date with African football rivals South Africa who beat Burundi 5-2 on aggregate.
Nigeria’s last opponents, Morocco proved stubborn in some ways until Reuben came off the substitute bench to score two goals in the final thirteen minutes to take the tie beyond the North Africans.
“It was a difficult game, more difficult than what the scoreline said,” Reuben told www.aclsports.com
“I didn’t travel with the team for the first leg so I was able to prepare well for the return match and when I was called to come in, I knew I had to do my best to help the team.
“I’m happy that my two goals helped us to seal the match,” said the Ibom Angels striker.
Just like in the last Under-20 tournament, Nigeria will face South Africa in the final round of qualifying for France 2018. Nigeria defeated South Africa 3-1 on aggregate en route to qualifying in 2015 and Charity is confident the result will not be different from the last time.
“We Nigerians are expecting to destroy South Africa because we and South Africans are like brothers and sisters. It is not the first and will not be the last time that we will beat them. Even in last qualifiers, we beat them home and away so this one too we will beat them,” she said.
Reuben was topscorer in the Nigeria Women Football League last season and was one of about seven players in the current Under-20 team who featured at the last Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea last year.
Nigeria have been an ever-present in the Under-20 World Cup but have only reached the final twice where they were beaten on each occasion by Germany – 2010 and 2014.
Reuben believes the current side is good enough to qualify and win the tournament in France next year.
“This present team is good enough to win it. The present coach now (Christopher Danjuma) is a very tactical coach and brings out the confidence in us.
“He has added many things to our trainings and it has helped the team a lot so I believe with that and the experience some of us now have, this team can do it in France by the grace of God,”
Nigeria will travel to South Africa on January 13 next year for the first leg of both teams’ final qualification tie before hosting the second leg in Benin City on January 27.