Halimatu Ayinde reveals ambitious targets after scoring for Nigeria

Published on: 23 February 2021

Halimatu Ayinde has set her sights on scoring more goals in 2021 following her matchwinner in Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan.

Ayinde was in superb form at Eskilstuna United last season as she provided two assists in 21 matches and was voted the team’s 2020 Best Player of the Season.

Ahead of her 2021 Damallsvenskan campaign, the former Delta Queens star is already counting the gains of the Turkish Women’s Cup as she looks to build on her fine start with her club.

“Taking part in this tournament [Turkish Women’s Cup] has really helped developed my fitness level and improved my playing style,” Ayinde told Goal.

“So, I can say that I’m ready for the new season and hoping to achieve greater things with my club and country this year.

“I’ve received great compliments from many at the club. They were so excited that I scored the goal and also helped the national team get the win. They want me to score more for the club.”

A 49th-minute strike from the 25-year-old midfielder saw the African champions silence the Central African side in their second game of the four-team championship in Antalya last Saturday

Ayinde, who had last scored for the Super Falcons in a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers, reflected on her goal and the impact of the competition on the team.

“I think it been a long time we played friendlies and gather like this,” the Kaduna-raised star continued.

“It was so important that we are having this tournament on and even more important that we have a new coach and new players to help them improve.

“At first, I wanted the team to win regardless of who scored the goal but I was happy to have found myself in the right position to have scored the goal [against Uzbekistan].

“It’s really exciting to score a goal. It meant a lot to me because it has been a long that I scored and I’m hoping to score more goals this year both with the national team and club.

“It meant a lot to me and the whole team because it been a while we competed in a tournament like this. It will really boost the team mentality moving forward.

“The whole team is ready to go give our best and win against Equatorial Guinea. Winning the title will mean a lot to me and the team.”

She will aim to help Nigeria end their campaign at the Turkish Cup on a high against the Central Africans at the Emir Sports Complex on Tuesday.