Halimatu Ayinde has set her sights on scoring more goals in 2021 following her matchwinner in Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan.
Super Falcons midfielder Halima Ayinde has welcomed the decision of the team’s new coach, Randy Waldrum, to expand the player pool to let in younger players into the team.
The Eskilstuna United of Sweden star, who spoke in a chat with newsmen shortly after helped Super Falcons to clinched Turkish Women’s Cup title on their first-ever appearance with a 9-0 humiliation of Equatorial Guinean yesterday, said the plan by the coach will help boost the team to the next level.
While assuring Nigerian fans to expect greater things from her this year both in the national team jersey and her club, Ayinde described the relationship in the Super Falcons’ camp between players and their new handler as very cordial and smooth.
“The camp is open for anyone to showcase her talent in the national level and help boost the team to the next level,” Ayinde stated.
“The relationship with the coach and players is very good and smooth, even though we are yet to know and understand each other better.”
“Fans should expect greater things this year not just with the national team, also to club level.”
She said the players were happy to come together after 14-months and achieved the Turkey Women’s Cup victory.
“Everyone is happy and excited for winning the tournament and of course happy that we could achieve this after being off for 14 months.”
The four-nation invitational tournament success was the first in history for Nigeria in Europe and the first crown under Waldrum.
The nine-time African champions opened their Turkey Women’s Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow before edging Uzbekistan by the same scoreline to inch closer to the crown.
Needing just a draw to seal the title, the Nigerian ladies were seeking to end on a high as Uchenna Kanu set up Glory Ogbonna to open the scoring, with a long-range effort after just nine minutes.
Three minutes later, Toni Payne was brought down in the area to give Nigeria a penalty and Asisat Oshoala stepped up to convert from the spot before grabbing her brace with another penalty in the 13th minute.
Some 13 minutes later, Chidinma Okeke’s long pass from the right found Oshoala and the Barcelona striker raced past the opponents’ defence to net her third and her side’s fourth of the match.
Waldrum’s side maintained their ruthless form as Payne teed up Kanu to net a fifth of the match in the 36th minute before Ogbonna’s cross was headed in by debutant Charity Adule two minutes later.
Three minutes from the half-time break, Payne grabbed her first goal in the green and white colour of Nigeria when she fired past goalkeeper Emiliana Nchama Ndong for a seventh of the match.
Before the restart, Waldrum made four changes, bringing on Mariam Ibrahim, Gift Monday, Ramat Abdulkareem and Esther Sunday as replacements for Ihezuo, Okeke, Payne and Kanu.
Despite Jean-Paul Mpila’s team holding on for a while, the Super Falcons added an eighth of the day when Abdulkareem set up Monday to score her first goal for the team in the 69th minute.
Five minutes from the full-time, substitute Halimatu Ayinde assisted Oshoala to grab her fourth goal of the tie to complete the Nigeria rout.