• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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World Cup: What Super Falcons need to do – Pundits

FG tasks Super Falcons on sustaining performance at World Cup

A local coach and some pundits have advised the Head Coach of the Super Falcons, Randy Waldrum, to resolve the issues around the team’s midfield, to enable it to find its balance.

They gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, while reflecting on the Super Falcons’ draw against Canada and the next match against host, Australia.

NAN reports that the Super Falcons started the campaign of their ninth appearance in the Women World Cup hosted by New Zealand and Australia with a 0-0 scoreline against Olympics Women Football gold medalist, Canada.

A coach of a Nationwide League One (NLO) side, Martins Oguntoye, told NAN that the Super Falcons needed to be more determined in their approach to matches

“Super Falcons had a slow start before they imposed themselves on the game midway into the first half.

“They didn’t relent as soon as they got their bearing and it was no surprise they got the first shot on target before the Canadians, who were the favourites based on their pre- competition hype as the Olympic Champions.

“I will say we made a significant error in the second minute of the second half when Francesca Ordega conceded the penalty.

“Canadian goal at that time could have demoralised the Super Falcons, knowing that we were doing well at the time,” he said.

Oguntoye said it was good the goalkeeper and captain of the day, Chiamaka Nnadozie, came to the rescue and caught the spot kick.

Read also: Women’s World Cup: Nigeria up against co-host Australia Thursday

“It was relief, and beside the red card got by Deborah Abiodun in the dying minutes of the game, it would have been a fantastic result and a good day for Nigeria.

“Looking ahead, the Super Falcons need a creative midfielder that can help to hold the ball and dribble on few occasions too to douse tension.

“The Falcons man-marked their opponents very well but they were poor at stringing passes. They need to work on that.

“Nigerians agitated for the inclusion of Ngozi Okobi but the performance of Abiodun before she was sent off showed team head coach, Randy Waldrum, made the best decision. She’s younger and quite mobile,” he said.

Oguntoye said that if the Super Falcons could learn to be more mobile and retain possession better, while also making good decisions, the team would not be stopped by Australia and Republic of Ireland.

Another analyst, Isaac Sanyaolu, noted that the midfielders deployed by Waldrum needed some experience to perform optimally in the team.

“Playing Abiodun primarily as a defensive midfielder and her versatility allows her to contribute effectively as a central midfielder and attacking midfielder as well.

“She possesses an outstanding range of skills and qualities that make her a standout player in the midfield.

“Abiodun exhibits impressive technical skills, including precise passing, ball control, and tactical awareness.

“Despite her young age, she displays remarkable bravery on the field, fearlessly challenging opponents and executing critical tackles,” he said.

Sanyaolu said her physical strength and athleticism give her an edge in battles for possession, making her a dominant force in midfield duels.

“Abiodun’s boundless energy allows her to cover the ground effectively, contributing both defensively and offensively throughout the game.

“Her tenacity and determination make her a rugged presence in midfield, disrupting opponents’ attacks and leading by example,” he said.

For another analyst, Kelechi Nweke, Nigeria needs to be sharper in attack, especially with Asisat Oshoala.

He said that Oshoala needed to put in the kind of performance she puts in during Barcelona matches

“Why she turns out average performances in the Nigerian colours compared to her Barcelona performances is yet to be unravelled,” he said.