In 1991 Nigeria made its first appearance at the Women’s World Cup and on that stage every player in teh team etched their names in the history books, some going on to become Legends.
Twenty years down the line and one player is proving she perhaps was cut from the same cloth of Legends – Chiamaka Nnadozie has announced herself on the world stage.
The most exciting goalkeeper Nigeria has seen since An Chiejine, who incidentally made her first world cup appearance as a 17 year-old.
She went on to make two more world cup appearances, including with the historic team that reached the second round of the competition in 1999.
Unfortunately, the Nigeria FA never did attach any degree of importance to women’s football as they did their male counterparts and so many top players – Chiejine inclusive – went under the radar soon enough.
On her part, Nnadozie entered the scenes from the age grade teams; graduating from the U17s and U20s.
Nnadozie was supposed to be the second choice goalkeeper behind the much experienced Tochukwu Oluehi in France.
Whether by divine intervention or just a stroke of fate, the 18 year-old who said she was determined to man to posts in at least on game at the world cup in France, got her chance early.
A 3-0 pounding against Norway saw Head Coach Thomas Dennerby wring several changes to his line up against South Korea in game two.
She was rock solid yet swift on her feet and showed the calmness of a goalie many years ahead of her time.
Nigeria won their first game in France and although the only one in the group stage as events unfolded, but Nnadozie had already shown she was THE ONE.
While she’s only four games into her senior career, the youngster keeps proving that she is ready to take her place among the Legends in Women’s football.
No doubt one Chiejine will feel proud to pass on the crown to.
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