October 16, 2021

‘This is an opportunity’ – Okobi-Okeoghene stresses importance of Eskilstuna United’s semi-final against Umea

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The Nigeria international has explained how important it is for her club side to claim the victory against the Elitettan side

Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene has stressed the importance of Eskilstuna United beating Umea when they face off in a 2020-21 Swedish Women’s Cup semi-final fixture on Saturday.

Magnus Karlsson’s team are eyeing their first-ever appearance in the final in national women’s competition history but must overcome the four-time winners at Umea Energi Arena.

Despite back-to-back Damallsvenskan defeats to Umea last season, Karlsson’s team will aim to repeat their group stage 1-0 win over their foes at Tunavallen before the coronavirus cancellation.

Despite the pedigree of the only surviving Elitettan side, the midfielder, who netted the winner against Umea in the last Cup game, believes her side can go all the way to make history this term.

“I am very happy to see my side progress from the group stage to the semi-final,” Okobi-Okeoghene told Goal.

“I am not surprised about what you’ve managed to achieve so far because the team have been working really hard since I joined them this year and the inputs of everyone is paying off.

“Before the semi-final draw, I had nothing on my mind because football is about winning or losing at this stage. All four teams in the semis are some of the very best sides in the country. 

“Umea is not a side to joke with, we lost against them in the league last season home and away. For us to win, we must take care of those little details and work really hard for the victory.”

To reach the semi-final, Eskilstuna, who escaped relegation from the Damallsvenskan last term, defeated Sundsvall 3-0 and Hammarby 1-0 before a 1-1 draw Orebro to clinch Group C.

The 27-year-old, who scored four goals to surpass her personal best in a season, is eager to lead her side to a maiden final on her return, following her full recovery from injury.

“I can’t really explain that feeling to be back on the pitch with my teammates,” Delta Queens product continued.

“It was not the best performance against Orebro. We made some little mistakes that we’ve started working on. We will hope to make corrections against Umea. 

“I don’t need to say anything to my teammates because we already know what is ahead of us and for us to be the favourite we need to work hard.

“This is an important game, especially for me. I want to play in the finals and win because this is an opportunity to win a trophy at the club level as a champion.”

Eskilstuna are just one match from their first final but need to halt the dreams of Samuel Fagerholm’s side, who has their sights on their 10th final.