Female youth national team, Falconets’ coach, Christopher Danjuma has dedicated his side’s gold medal in the women’s football events at the Africa Games to Nigerian fans at home and abroad, as he says they all believed in his side’s ability to break a long standing jinx in the lofty competition.
Nigeria last got to the final of the Games in 2007, and won the gold for the second time, after setting the first mark on home soil in 2003, and Danjuma admits he is excited with his squad’s historic feat.
The Falconets emerged champions of the women’s football tournament of the 12th African Games in Rabat on Thursday after a 3-2 penalty shoot-out triumph over their counterparts from Cameroon.
The keenly-contested game between two teams that had battled to a 1-1 draw in a group phase match eight days earlier, ended 0-0 after regulation and extra time at the Stade Boubker Aamar outside Rabat.
Penalty shoot-out followed and the Nigeria U20 girls, one of only four teams to have featured in every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup since the competition started 17 years ago, triumphed.
It is the first gold for the Falconets at the African Games in 12 years, having not qualified for the 10th edition in Mozambique in 2011 and finishing outside the medals’ range in Brazzaville four years ago.
Danjuma’s lasses, though, braved all odds and ensured that Nigeria got back to the gold medal after 12 years, as the country last got to the final of the Games in 2007, and won the gold for the second time, after setting the first mark on home soil in 2003, and the coach admits he was excited with his squad’s historic feat.
Danjuma retorted: “I want to thank God for this victory. I also thank all Nigerians that stood by us and believed in this team.
“I thank God for being with us and guiding us to do the right thing in all our matches. We are happy for this victory.
“Our camp is alive, we have the gold medal, and we are happy that we did not disappoint our great country Nigeria. Thank you Nigeria.”