The Super Falcons of Nigeria scaled through their Group B unbeaten with five points at the 2023 Women’s World Cup
Nigeria’s Super Falcons have crashed out in the Round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to England in Brisbane on Monday.
Despite their second-round exit from the tournament, Nigeria were largely the better side in the contest and had the chance to win the game after Lauren James was sent off late for the Lionesses.
Randy Waldrum’s side took control in extra time but couldn’t find the needed breakthrough, forcing the game to go to penalties. Georgia Stanway fired wide England’s first penalty before Oparanozie and Alozie missed their efforts and the European champions secured their place in the last-eight when Chloe Kelly scored the winning penalty.
Here, Soccernet.ng presents five key takeaways from this exhilarating contest for the Super Falcons to take into their future commitments.
1. Randy Waldrum’s masterplan
The Super Falcons head coach’s tactical brilliance was on show once again with the manner he set up the team’s game plan to frustrate the Lionesses on the counterattack.
The American tactician has demonstrated his tactical astute and good decision-making throughout the tournament.
He should continue with the team and must be given the necessary backing to build on this performance for future commitments.
2. A new generation of players to keep for the future
Deborah Abiodun, Michelle Alozie, Toni Payne, Ashley Plumptre, Tosin Demehin, Christy Ucheibe, Gift Monday, and Rofiat Imuran are good and exciting players to keep and nurture for future participation. They have demonstrated their willingness and fighting spirit for the team in this tournament.
3. Nnadozie’s undisputed talent
Chiamaka Nnadozie again confirmed her position as the Super Falcons’ first choice for many years to come. She continues to justify her status as the best goalkeeper in Africa and one of the best in the world after another calm and impressive display for the team. Though she failed to save a kick in the penalty shootout, the tournament has been a wonderful experience overall for the Paris FC goal-stopper.
4. Alozie is a gem
The 26-year-old Houston Dash star proved her worth again with a brilliant display for the team. She did her defensive job very well and made some good attacking runs. Though she failed to convert her kick in the penalty shootout, Alozie has done enough to convince that she is a top player, who is destined to spend many parts of her football years with the national team.
5. Payne is the team’s brain-box
Toni Payne holds the key to how the Super Falcons’ game plan should be set up for future commitments. The Sevilla playmaker has been a revelation at the tournament, dictating the tempo and the team’s build-up play. Payne has shown her talent and will surely be part of the team’s setup for years to come.
All in all, it has been a wonderful experience for Randy Waldrum and his troops, Surpassing the expectations placed on them before the start of the tournament.
There are undoubted talents in the team and the future looks bright for the Falcons.