Nigeria Women's World Cup 2023 squad: Who's in & who's out?

Nigeria women, Super Falcons
Details about the Nigeria squad for Women's World Cup 2023.

Nigeria have qualified for each and every Women's World Cup finals but still have to make it past the last-eight stage, given their best performance so far was a quarter-final finish in 1999.

However, as the most successful team from Africa, and after a round of 16 exit four years ago, there will be a lot of expectations on the Super Falcons under the tutelage of Randy Waldrum.

The 11-time Women's African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) champions have been grouped with Australia, Irelands and Canada in Group B, with their opening game against Canada on July 21 in Melbourne.

Waldrum named his final 23-member squad for the 2023 Women's World Cup squad on June 16. GOAL takes a look.

    (C)Getty Images


    Chiamaka Nnadozie's exploits from the 2018 U20 Women's World Cup earned her a spot in the senior side that soon saw her start games in the 2019 Women's World Cup, following which she saved three penalties in the shootout to help her side beat Cameroon to the West African Football Union Cup (WAFU) Cup title.

    Playing her domestic trade with French Division 2 Feminine side AS Saint-Etienne, Yewande Balogun started in the 1-0 win over Costa Rica in one of February's friendly games. Whereas Tochukwu Oluehi is a regular at her club in Turkey but the last time she found herself in the national team line-up was back in July against Zambia in the WAFCON.

    Chiamaka NnadozieParis Saint-Germain
    Tochukwu OluehiHakkarigucu Spor
    Yewande BalogunAS Saint-Etienne



    There's a good mix of youth and experience at the back with standout youngster Oluwatosin Demehin named among the 23-player preliminary squad, while legendary defender Onome Ebi is set to travel to her sixth straight World Cup finals.

    Ebi will be only the third to achieve such a feat after Brazil's Formiga and Homare Sawa of Japan. Having appeared in the last three World Cup events, Osinachi Ohale may also be considered a veteran.

    Like Glory Ogbonna, Rofiat Imuran played at the U20 Women's World Cup before being absorbed among the seniors, while Leicester City's Ashleigh Plumtre made her Nigeria debut in 2022 after initially turning out at England's age group national teams.

    Michelle Alozie completes the list after being called up by Waldrum, who previously was coach at Houston Dash.

    Onome EbiAbia Angels
    Osinachi OhaleDeportivo Alaves
    Glory OgbonnaBesiktas JK
    Ashleigh PlumtreLeicester City
    Rofiat ImuranStade de Reims
    Michelle AlozieHouston Dash
    Oluwatosin DemehinStade de Reims

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    Waldrum has opted to go with Deborah Abiodun from Rivers Angels after the 19-year-old's recent commitment at the University of Pittsburgh Women's Soccer program where the American overseas affairs apart from the Nigeria women's national team.

    Abiodun made a mark at the U20 World Cup before earning this call-up.

    It's a relatively young line-up in the middle, other than Halimatu Ayinde and Toni Payne, with the latter previously serving as part of the United States' age group national teams.

    England-born Jennifer Echegini has played in the friendly against New Zealand, while the likes of Rasheedat Ajibade and Christy Ucheibe have been part of the national team set-up from the Nigeria U17 side.

    Halimatu AyindeRosegard
    Rasheedat AjibadeAtletico Madrid
    Toni PayneSevilla
    Christy UcheibeBenfica
    Deborah AbiodunRivers Angels
    Jennifer EcheginiFlorida State University



    Five-time African Women's Footballer of the Year Asisat Oshoala is the star performer with 21 goals with the Spanish Liga F side Barcelona last season.

    Uchenna Kanu and Desire Oparanozie have also proven themselves among those who helped the Super Falcons to a place in the knockouts at France 2019.

    Meanwhile, Gift Monday and Francisca Ordega are a bit more experienced than the likes of Ifeoma Onumonu and Esther Okorinkwo, though Onumonu represented the United States U23 side before.

    Uchenna KanuRacing Louisville
    Gift MondayUDG Tenerife
    Ifeoma OnumonuNY/NJ Gotham
    Asisat OshoalaBarcelona
    Desire OparanozieWuhan Chegu Jianghan
    Francisca OrdegaCSKA Moscow
    Esther OkoronkwoSaint-Etienne



    With Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal, Waldrum could be going in for a 4-2-3-1 formation at the 2023 Women's World Cup with Asisat Oshoala at the tip of the attack.

    Michelle Olozie and Rofiat Imuran as the full-backs on the right and left side, respectively, Onome Ebi would be joined by Oluwatosin Demehin at the heart of defence.

    The midfield is likely to be put in the hands of Christy Ucheibe and Halimatu Ayinde, while Toni Payne assumes the number 10 role with Rasheedat Ajibade and Esther Okorinkwo on either wings.

    Nigeria XI (4-2-3-1): Nnadozie; Olozie, Demehin, Ebi, Imuran; Ucheibe, Ayinde; Ajibade, Payne, Okorinkwo; Oshoala

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    Waldrum had to make the tough choice of leaving out veteran midfielder Ngozi Okobi in order to accommodate Deborah Abiodun, as the American gaffer felt that he would be more confident of the latter's fitness level.

    Okobi played for Nigeria since she was 16 and should be considered as the biggest snub, although the Levante midfielder has had very few minutes for Nigeria in 2023.

    2019 veteran forward Rita Chikwelu also sees herself out of the squad.

    Ngozi OkobiLevanteTactical
    Rita ChikweluLevante Las PlanasTactical