INI UMOTONG is living her World Cup dream with Nigeria.
And the excited Pompey Ladies striker is hoping to play her part tonight when the African champions take on Sweden (9pm) in their opening game of the tournament.
Despite being pitted in the ‘group of death’ alongside Australia and favourites USA, 21-year-old Umotong, who is expected to start this evening’s clash on the bench, is confident the Super Falcons can spring a surprise on the big stage in Canada.
She said: ‘Being called up to play for Nigeria at the World Cup is incredible.
‘It feels like a dream – I still can’t quite believe it.
‘Just being here is amazing.
‘It’s the biggest and best thing I’ve ever done in my life.
‘Hopefully I can get a bit of game time but we will see – it all depends on the coach and how the game’s going.
‘I have been visualising myself scoring – any forward dreams about scoring in the World Cup!’
Umotong, who bagged 29 goals for Pompey Ladies this season, became the Blues’ first player to be capped at international level in Nigeria’s All-Africa Games qualifier with Mali in March.
And the prolific striker has warned her opponents to write the Super Falcons off at their mercy.
She said: ‘It has been dubbed ‘the group of death’.
‘But we are still really confident of getting out of it.
‘We are champions of Africa and although our Fifa rankings aren’t too good that’s because we haven’t played too many games against other nations.
‘If anything, our opponents may be underestimating us, which can only work in our favour.’
– JEFF MARSHMAN