Africa’s most successful female team needs to avoid a defeat in their next match to set a new milestone as the first team from the continent to go through the group stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup unbeaten
Super Falcons star midfielder Deborah Abiodun will be absent in their final Group B clash against the Republic of Ireland on Monday, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 19-year-old talent was handed a suspension following a red card in Nigeria’s opening match against reigning Olympic champions Canada.
Before her dismissal, Abiodun was one of Nigeria’s best players against the Canadians, drawing comparison with former Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante.
While Abiodun already missed Nigeria’s thrilling 3-2 victory against co-hosts Australia on Thursday due to the suspension, FIFA has now confirmed that her absence will extend to the upcoming match against the Girls in Green.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow for both Abiodun and her team, as they could have greatly benefited from her skills on the pitch.
However, there’s a silver lining for the Super Falcons. Should they secure a spot in the Round of 16 from the group stage, Abiodun will be eligible to play in the next round, providing a much-needed boost to the squad’s aspirations.
But the concerns do not end there for the Nigerian women’s national team.
Asisat Oshoala, Blessing Demehin, and Michelle Alozie are currently on the caution list, hovering on the brink of suspension.
A yellow card for any of them in Monday’s match would spell trouble, potentially rendering them unavailable for the subsequent game.
The Super Falcons are in a great situation ahead of their last group game. The former African champions will secure a coveted spot in the Round of 16 if they earn at least one point in the encounter against Vera Pauw’s Republic of Ireland.