Onome Ebi says Nigeria will not return from the ongoing 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations in Ghana without the trophy despite their narrow opening defeat to South Africa.

Super Falcons captain Onome Ebi says the eight-time African Women’s Cup of Nations champions are fully motivated to go all the way and retain their AWCON title at the ongoing AWCON 2018 in Ghana.

Ebi who is gunning for her fourth AWCON title having won the title in 2010, 2014, 2016 with the Super Falcons, stated that their 4-0 win over Zambia on Wednesday showed that the team was gradually returning to great shape.

Goals from Desire Oparanoize, Francisca Ordega, Rasheedat Ajibade, and Amarachi Okoronkwo secured the first win for Super Falcons at the tournament after they had suffered a 1-0 loss to South Africa in their first Group B game last Sunday.

“The NFF have done their part very well. The ball is now in our court to do our part and make Nigerians happy, by winning against Equatorial Guinea on Saturday and going ahead to win a ticket to the World Cup and also retain our African title,” Ebi, 35, told thenff.com.

“We are getting back to shape. In the first game against South Africa, it was not the Super Falcons that Africa knew that turned up. Defeat made us to talk hard to ourselves. I think we are getting back to the form known of Super Falcons, the champions. We are not there yet but we are still pushing ourselves to reach our normal level. I believe our third game will definitely be much better.”

The Henan Huishang FC defender also adds that it never crossed her mind that the Super Falcons will exit the tournament at the group stage following their poor start to the campaign.

“I never thought about that. I don’t think that is possible because to me I see us in the semi finals already. I have strong faith in the team that we are going to beat Equitorial Guinea and then we will take the knockout stage one match at a time, Ebi said.

“Nigerians should keep praying for us. They should keep believing in the Super Falcons because we are here for the trophy and we are here to qualify for the World Cup. I believe that with hard work and with God on our side, we are going to achieve our twin objectives.”

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