New Zealand’s football coach, Jitka Klimková, has spoken out after her side’s 3-0 loss to Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Tuesday, giving her reasons for the disappointing result.
Klimková was disappointed with her team’s performance in front of the goal, saying, “We were not gritty enough in our defensive third.
“We gave up a goal from a set play. We gave up a goal from a cross. The biggest improvement we need to now look for is really gritty defending in the box.”
Jitka Klimková reflects on a disappointing result for the Ford Football Ferns against Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/vKxtVlqYaU— New Zealand Football (@NZ_Football) April 11, 2023
Despite starting strongly, the Ferns could not capitalise on their early momentum, with Nigeria taking the lead in the 34th minute through veteran defender Onome Ebi’s header from a floated corner.
The Nigerians doubled their lead not long after half-time, with Onyi Echegini finishing with a mid-air volley into the net.
The Ferns pushed to create chances and had a few opportunities, with Hannah Wilkinson forcing a save from Paris FC’s Chiamaka Nnadozie. Ultimately, they were unable to find even a consolation goal.
The game ended on a disappointing note for the Ferns, with Nigeria scoring a third goal in the final moments of the match, despite Vic Esson making two great saves.
The Ford Football Ferns had been looking to build on their positive performance against Iceland in their second international friendly played as part of their Turkish training camp.
While the result was disappointing for New Zealand, it was a pleasant outing for Nigeria.
The Super Falcons have now recorded three wins on the bounce, having previously beaten Costa Rica and Haiti.