April, 12 2023.
According to a recent publication by football's world governing body, the above are just a few of the words that resonate with some of the greatest name of football from across the globe, when they think about the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
With only 100 days to go, until the ball starts rolling at the edition FIFA reached out to current and former women’s and men’s players, coaches, and stars connected with football to learn, in just one word, what the FIFA Women’s World Cup means to them.
The results were both insightful and captivating, with dozens of FIFA Legends and people connected with the world’s favourite sport submitting the sentiment that they feel best embodies the tournament.
From Aya Miyama to Arsène Wenger, Carli Lloyd to Kaka, stars from around the world may associate different words with the tournament, but it’s certain that they share the same enthusiasm and excitement when it comes to the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year.
Remarkably, the tournament will also feature 32 teams for the first time, including three that joined from the Playoffs. It will get underway on July 20, with the final scheduled for August 20, 2023.
In the same light, the Super Falcons of Nigeria on Tuesday hammered 2023 World Cup co-host New Zealand 3-0 in their second friendly game in Antalya, Turkey, to mark the countdown to the global showpiece event. www.ckdmedia.ng reports.
It was the Falcons’ second win in Turkey after edging World Cup debutant Haiti 2-1 last Friday with former captain and Barcelona Feminine markswoman, Asisat Oshoala on the scorers' sheet.
Goals from veteran captain Onome Ebi, Jennifer Echegini and returning striker Desire Oparanozie, secured the comfortable win for the nine-time African champions, and Randy Waldrum’s side have now won their last three games.
Onome Ebi broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute after nodding in Toni Payne’s cross. It remained 1-0 until the break, but in the 49th minute Echegini doubled the lead with an easy tap in before Oparanozie completed the rout in the 94th minute.
The Falcons are in Group B alongside co-host Australia, Olympic Champions Canada and debutant Republic of Ireland at the women’s World Cup 2023.
The Falcons will open their campaign against Canada on July 21 in Melbourne.
The last time Oshoala made an appearance for the Falcons was in July, at the 2022 women’s Cup of Nations, hosted by Morocco.
The Supper Falcons have now won back-to-back games after ending a run of seven straight defeats with a 1-0 win against Costa Rica, at the 2023 Revelation Cup four-nation invitational tournament in Mexico in February.
African quartet to fly the banner of the continent at 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, have been handed somewhat tough groups.
Reigning champions South Africa will play 2003 runners-up Sweden; 2022 African bronze winners and COSAFA champions Zambia will take on 2011 world champions Japan in Group C with Morocco drawn in Group H to play two-time world champions Germany.
Africa’s biggest favourites to advance from their respective pools will be Nigeria, who have featured at every edition of the tournament since it started in 1991.
The Super Falcons, will be led by captain Onome Ebi, who at 40 will be making her sixth record-extending African appearance at the Mundial.
Star girl, Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona Feminine, having won a record fifth African Women's Player of the Year in July 2022, will lead the search for goals, along side the returning Desire Oparanozie and youthful striker, Esther Okoronkwo.
Banyana Banyana, who won their first African title in the recent Women's Africa Cup of Nations, will face tricky opponents like Sweden, Italy and Argentina, in Group G.
First-timers Zambia are in Group C to face European giants Spain, former world champions Japan and Costa Rica, while debutants Morocco slug it out with Germany, Colombia and Korea Republic in Group H.