• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Paris 2024: Super Falcons hunt for Olympics glory after 16 years absence

Paris 2024: Super Falcons hunt for Olympics glory after 16 years absence

Nearly two decades after their last appearance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, Nigeria’s senior female football team, the Super Falcons, are poised to fly Nigeria’s flag high in France at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 will feature 26 matches, scheduled to be played from 25 July to 10 August.

The last time the Super Falcons graced the Olympics was at the 2008 Beijing Games. Now, after a 16-year absence, the West Africans are ready to return to the prestigious stage.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons secured their spot at the Paris Olympics by edging past South Africa 1-0 on aggregate in the fourth round of the CAF qualifying tournament. Talismanic forward Asisat Oshoala is set for her first taste of Olympic action.

As Falcons prepare to battle Spain, Japan, and Brazil in a formidable Group C, FIFA offers insights into the Super Falcons, who lived up to their nickname by soaring to the last 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. The team boasts no fewer than 11 continental crowns.

Gift Monday Confident in Super Falcons’ Chances

Nigeria forward Gift Monday has urged fans to stay positive despite the challenging group stage draw for the upcoming Summer Olympics women’s football tournament. The Super Falcons are placed in Group C alongside Brazil, Japan, and Spain, dubbed the ‘group of death’ by some football enthusiasts.

Monday’s confidence is well-founded. While Nigeria is the lowest-ranked nation in Group C, they have an impressive recent record. At the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Super Falcons, led by Randy Waldrum, exited the competition undefeated in regulation time, only falling in the round of 16 via a penalty shootout against reigning European champions and eventual finalists England.

Although Japan and Spain have lifted the World Cup trophy, neither nation has claimed Olympic gold in women’s football. This presents an opportunity for the Super Falcons to make history.

“The group Nigeria is in, I don’t think it’s easy,” Monday told Afrik-Foot. “But I know we’re equal to the task because nobody is unbeatable.”

The 22-year-old FC Robo graduate and Unión Deportiva Tenerife star emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive outlook: “No matter the opponent they bring to us, I believe Nigeria is equal to the task. It’s not an easy group, but we are equal to the task.”

With their strong performance history and determined squad, the Super Falcons are set to make a significant impact in Paris 2024.

Randy Waldrum Tough Task

After leading Nigeria to a fourth-place finish at the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022 and steering the continental powerhouses to the Round of 16 at last year’s World Cup, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum is primed to lead his charges onto the Olympic stage.

“Sixteen years without qualifying is a long time, and I’m extremely proud of the girls,” beamed the seasoned coach moments after seeing his side clinch their place at the Paris Games.

“With the field being small in the Olympics, every team is a top team. And if you look at our group, again – like at the World Cup – it’s the group of death, so to speak.”

Super Falcons Group C Matches

Thursday, 25 July

Nigeria vs. Brazil

Time: 7pm

Venue: Stade de Bordeaux

Sunday, 28 July

Spain vs. Nigeria

Time: 7pm

Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes

Wednesday, 31 July

Japan vs. Nigeria

Time: 7pm

Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes