Super Falcons strikers, Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala, have been named among the five contending for the African Footballers of the Year in the women’s category.
The two strikers are also joined in the shortlist of five by Annette Ngo Ndom of Cameroon, Portia Modise of South Africa and Zenatha Coleman of Namibia.
Oshoala has emerged from the ranks to prove herself as one of the top players on the continent. Earlier this year, she won the most valuable player and highest goalscorer’s awards at the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, where the Falconets finished second.
The Rivers Angels striker followed up that performance in the African Women Championship (AWC) in Namibia by winning the most valuable player award. She also added the Federation Cup and women’s league in Nigeria to her growing list of honours.
France-based striker, Oparanozie, notably finished the AWC this year as leading scorer and helped Nigeria win the tournament.
Modise is now a legend in the women’s game in her country after scoring a record 100 goals in her career. She was this week crowned the SA Sports Star of the Year at a time the Banyana Banyana of South Africa finished as semifinalists in the AWC.
Annette Ngo Ndom, the 29-year-old goalkeeper, was impressive at the AWC and her performance between the sticks took Cameroon’s Lionnesses as far as the final of the tournament until Nigeria stopped them.
Ndom also plays in the Slovakian first division for FC Union Nove Zamky, and took part in this season’s Uefa Champions League.
Brave Gladiators midfielder, Zenatha Coleman, also makes the final five shortlist for the women’s award though Namibia failed to progress the group stage of the AWC.
But Coleman has been impressive in the colours of her club, Brave Gladiators, this year.
For Oshoala, she could claim a double award as she is also shortlisted for the Youth Player of the Year award alongside her Nigerian compatriot, Uchechi Sunday.
Fabrice Ondoa of Cameroon and Kader Bidimbou of Congo are the shortlists in that category.
Nigeria’s Under-20 women’s national team, the Falconets, will also look to beat Cameroon and Ivory Coast for the National Team of the Year award for women. (supersport.com)