Former Super Falcons assistant coach, Mansur Abdullahi, has identified defence as the team’s weakest link ahead of their Women’s World Cup Group B opener against Canada on Friday, The PUNCH reports.

The Falcons take on the reigning Olympic champions at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne on Friday.

Abdullahi reckons that Onome Ebi, 40, is the weakest link in the Falcons defence.

The nine-time African champions, led by Ebi, have only kept three clean sheets in their last 12 games in all competitions, which Abdullahi believes is not good enough.

“We have not been that compact at the back in recent games. My greatest worry is the defence,” Abdullahi told The PUNCH. “Onome Ebi, how flexible is she at 40?  I don’t think she will be able to complement the team.

“But the attack is where we have talented and world-class players like Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade and Gift Monday. The attack looks strong, but the defence may prove to be the team’s major undoing at the World Cup.”

Also, seasoned journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana, queried the decision to include the former Levante Las Planas in the squad.

“How can a 40-year-old player, who is spent, who has not played club football for an entire season, make the Falcons World Cup squad? How can a coach be proud of such an unprofessional decision,” Obayiuwana wrote on Twitter.

Former Falcons coach, Godwin Izilien, also believes Ebi’s inclusion can jeopardise the team’s chances of making an impact at the tournament.

“Why must we keep using Onome in the Falcons when she is not making any impact on the team anymore.

“Onome has no business in that team. We have good players who can do well. You can imagine, Ebi was with me in 2004 in Johannesburg, when we won the title. Her reflexes are gone and her ability to run fast is not there anymore.

“The World Cup is not a ceremonial game. We must aim to win titles and we have the players who can win titles for us.”

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