The Super Falcons of Nigeria are on fire in the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as they remain Africa’s main torch.
Nigeria is undoubtedly the most successful football country on the African continent having been at the World Cup a record nine times since 1991. They are also the only African team to reach the quarter finals of the tournament which was in 1999 in the United States.
In terms of talents, Nigeria has been blessed with many. The world saw the likes of Perpetua Nkwocha, Mercy Akide, Doris Nkiru Okesieme and other top players who made their mark at the biggest stage during their era.
The current Nigerian women football generation cannot boast of players in the caliber of Akide, and Nkwocha but they have some fabulous individual talents who can compete against the best in the world of football.
Nigeria is already writing a successful story in Australia and New Zealand. They amassed five points which were enough for them to qualify from Group B to the round of 16 in the ongoing world cup.
Ranked as the lowest team in Group B, the Super Falcons opened their world cup campaign with goalless draw with Canada, beat co-hosts Australia 3-2 before wrapping up their group stages with another barren draw with Ireland to finish second in their group.
Nigeria, aside playing some delightful football, have also exhibited togetherness which has been the main hallmark of the team.
They fight for each other on the field and one can clearly see no player in their setup is aiming for individual glory as they play as a unit.
“The first thing is the chemistry and the bond we have,”
“You heard Asisat [Oshoala] speak after the Australia game, she said it’s not about whether she plays for 90 minutes or not, she’s going to give her best no matter how long she has on the field. She also very quickly complimented her team-mates and the effort of the team. She gave them the credit even though she scored such a big goal for us. That’s the attitude all of our players have.”
“The other thing that really impresses me is the fight this team has. It’s one thing to have talent and have a good team, but there’s something to be said about your heart and what’s inside you. That’s innate and it is part of their DNA. Against Australia, it would have been easy to have folded after going a goal down late in the first half, yet we came back and got the equalizer before the break. This team’s resolve, competitiveness and fight has been nothing short of amazing.”Head coach Randy Waldrum told FIFA in an interview.
Nigeria will lock horns with England at the Suncorp Stadium on August 7 in a round of 16 game as a place in the last eight beckons.
It is going to be a dicey game which could go either way though Nigeria will start as the underdogs.
The Super Falcons have never faced England before but the Nigeria U20 team of 2014 defeated England 2-1 in the World Cup in Canada and a host of the players from both sides have now progressed to the senior team.
With the determination, zeal, as well as the great bond the Super Falcons have shown so far in the competition, a victory over the Three Lioness is not beyond their reach.
The likes of Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu and Michelle Alozie can go all out to make their nation and the whole of Africa proud again.
Source: The New Times