The dethroned African champions had the Ford Football Ferns for lunch in Turkey on Tuesday in a dominant display
American gaffer Waldrum invited Echegini to the national team setup last year and gave her a first-team debut against Canada in April.
Echegini’s influence in the team has been on the rise, with the 22-year-old showing good form in recent games.
The midfielder provided the assist to Nigeria’s winning goal against Costa Rica in Mexico, and she had a hand in Asisat Oshoala’s winner against Haiti on Friday.
And almost a year after her first Super Falcons call-up, Echegini finally got her first international goal scoring the second goal in Nigeria’s 3-0 humbling of New Zealand.
Michelle Alozie did great on the right flank to evade her marker and sent a sumptuous cross into the box, which Echegini met with a half-volley early in the second half.
What was said?
And coach Waldrum has expressed his excitement and admiration for the University of Florida midfielder, describing her performance as “absolutely brilliant.”
“The most exciting thing about that is anytime a player plays for the country and they get their first goal, it’s the one they always remember, and the good thing about that is the buildup to that goal was absolutely brilliant,” Waldrum remarked.
“The interplay, the cross, and the finish is world-class. She (Echegini) will remember that goal for a long time. But she has really come up in the last year since we first brought her to Canada, and she just continues to get better and better. I was really happy for her because she finally found the back of the net.”
Echegini has been a revelation for the Falcons in recent games, and her performance against New Zealand showed that she is a player to watch out for in the future.
With Nigeria’s eyes set on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, her contributions will be crucial to the team’s success.