The two continental giants lock horns for the first time in international football in a preparatory match ahead of the Mundial
The highly anticipated friendly match between Nigeria’s Super Falcons and New Zealand is set to take place on April 11th, 2023, and promises to be a captivating contest between two impressive teams.
Despite Nigeria’s current ranking of 42nd in the world compared to New Zealand’s 25th, both teams are incredibly talented and have a rich history in women’s football.
The Super Falcons have won the African Women’s Cup of Nations 11 times, while New Zealand have qualified for every Women’s World Cup since 2007.
The Falcons have had it rough since their disappointing outing at the 2022 African Women’s Cup of Nations, where they finished fourth and lost to South Africa, Morocco, and Zambia.
However, the team has shown in the past that they can compete with the best in the world, having reached the quarter-finals of the 1999 Women’s World Cup and making it past the group stage in the 2018 edition in France. Randy Waldrum’s ladies won their last two games against Costa Rica and Haiti.
Players to watch in the upcoming match include Asisat Oshoala, who has been in fine form for her club Barcelona and Rasheedat Ajibade, a rising star in Nigerian football who has been impressive for Atletico Madrid this season.
New Zealand, however, have struggled in their recent matches, failing to win any of their last nine games and conceding 22 goals while only scoring twice. Despite this, they have a good mix of experience and youth in players such as Hannah Wilkinson and Betsy Doon Hassett.
In terms of tactics, both teams are likely to play a high-intensity pressing game, with Nigeria playing a 4-3-3 formation and New Zealand opting for a 4-4-2 formation. New Zealand’s quick buildup play may give them an advantage, while Nigeria’s physicality, technical ability, and pace could work in their favour.
Overall, the match promises to be an enthralling encounter between two evenly matched teams. The Super Falcons will be looking to prove themselves and show that they can compete with the best in the world, while New Zealand will be hoping to turn around their poor form with the World Cup on the horizon.
It will be interesting to see which team comes out on top in what should be a thrilling match.
Competition: Friendly match
Game: New Zealand vs. Nigeria
Venue: Mardan Stadyumu, Antalya
Date: 11 April 2023
Kick-off time: 2 pm (Nigerian time)