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No team can rival Nigeria at AWCON - Asisat Oshoala

Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala is confident that none of the other sides competing in the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations can rival the Super Falcons as they go in search of their record-extending ninth AWCON title.

Nigeria have dominated the tournament, winning eight of the previous 10 editions, with only Equatorial Guinea (twice) denying them a clean sweep.

Despite the quality of the likes of Cameroon, South Africa and hosts Ghana, Oshoala doesn't believe anyone will stand in Nigeria's way as they hunt down another crown.

"Every time you see Nigeria, you know there is no other competitor, we are here to win the trophy," she told ESPN.

"We are here to make our nation proud once more, the girls are ready to give 100 percent at every point in time."

Three-time CAF Women's Player of the Year Oshoala will likely be central to Nigeria's hopes, with the 24-year-old having won the Player of the Tournament award in Cameroon two years ago.

"I have been to this stage [several times before],' she continued. "I am not under any pressure.

"I'm just being me, just playing my normal game and having fun.

"I know there are lots of expectations, but this is not about me, it is about the team first," she concluded. "I am just here to have fun and make my nation proud."

Nigeria coach Thomas Dennerby didn't quite share his star player's bullish optimism, and sounded a note of caution regarding the Super Falcons' would-be rivals for the title.

"We are defending champions," he began. "Everybody wants to beat Nigeria and that definitely puts us under pressure.

"However, we have to live with that, and I think we have a good chance to defend the title, that's our aim."

Nigeria open their campaign against South Africa at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday, and have also been drawn alongside Zambia and Equatorial Guinea.

"Winning it again won't be easy but that's our aim," Dennerby continued. "We know that other teams have improved a lot since the last tournament.

"Some of them have really done good preparation, they have played a lot of friendlies and so we know that we will play good teams.

"That's good for women's football because more and more teams are getting better."

"South Africa are a good team," he concluded. "We start with a tough game against them but that is just one of three games in the group.

"I think if we stay calm and focus on our game and don't think much about what is going on around us, that's probably the best way to prepare a team and do your job."


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