Perhaps out of respect for the opponents who finished second in group A behind the hosts Equatorial Guinea, Nkwocha is asking Nigeria to pray for them. Writing on her Facebook page on Tuesday, the four-time winner of the competition said prayers were important to the team’s success.
“There we go again on the verge of making our darling country proud. Your prayers have pushed us this far, let’s do it again. Let’s pray for the Falcons victory in tomorrow’s (today’s) match with South Africa at 5.30pm. Yes we can do it,” she wrote.
The striker, who plays for Swedish Damallsvenskan club Sunnana SK, wields a lot of influence in the team, having been pivotal to first round success. She scored the crucial winning goal against Cameroon in the 88 minutes of Falcons first group match and the third goal against Ethiopia in the second group match.
Going by the record, South Africa’s Bayana Bayana are no threat to Nigeria at this level of women’s football. In the 1995 and 2000 editions, they lost to Nigeria in the final. They also lost to Equatorial Guinea in final of the 2008 edition when Nigeria did not win the title for the first time after picking the bronze medal. Today’s match will start at 5.30pm Nigerian time.