• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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2024 Olympics Qualifier: Waldrum charges Super Falcons to be more clinical

Randy Waldrum

Super Falcons Coach Randy Waldrum has urged his team to be more clinical after the nine-time African champions defeated Cameroon’s Lioness 1-0 on Monday in the second-leg qualifier for the 2024 Olympics Women’s Football Tournament at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

He said this was critical if the Super Falcons intend to beat their South African counterparts for the final round qualification ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

But they could have paid dearly had the visitors nicked an away goal late in the tie.

Nigeria had several chances to kill the game in the first half after enjoying a good start to the encounter.

However, poor finishing from Jennifer Echegini, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, and Esther Okoronkwo left Nigeria holding on for dear life after Cameroon gained the upper hand in the second half.

Waldrum told reporters during a post-match conference that his team created a lot of chances but failed to make them count, adding that the weather also had an adverse effect on the players.

“In the match, we had some chances that we missed and it was a match we really struggled to win.

“You can go back and look at the opportunities that we had. We could have easily finished the game at halftime.

“So, we have to be more efficient and clinical around our opponent’s vital area and convert chances into goals.

“I would have also preferred the match to be played in the night because the weather was hot, but we can’t complain because the players are all Nigerians and are used to it,” he said.

On his tactical approach to the game, he said he ensured that the best 11 started the match at home, adding however that he had confidence in every player, even those that didn’t play the match.

Waldrum made the bold decision to bench Bay FC forward Asisat Oshoala, choosing instead to start Okoronkwo in attack.

Juventus star Echegini also made the starting eleven of the encounter after sitting on the bench from kickoff in the first leg.

It proved to be an inspired decision as both Echegini and Okoronkwo combined to score the decisive goal.

Aside from the goal, the two players were classy with the ball and fought hard without it to make the Super Falcons attack lively in the first half.

Oshoala emerged from the bench in the second half and did her bit, but coach Waldrum would be thanking his stars for going with his gut’s decision to start Okoronkwo.

The coach also said that the team had some players sidelined with injury, saying however that he was hopeful that they would recover before their next game.

“We have some injuries that we must take care of before our next round against Bayana Bayana of South Africa.

“We will get the videos of our next opponent, play it and study it to know how to deal with them,” he said.