The Super Falcons of Nigeria under the guidance of American tactician Randy Waldrum scaled through Group B unbeaten with five points at the 2023 Women’s World Cup
The 2023 Women’s World Cup has witnessed upsets like never seen before in the history of the showpiece. It all started in the opening match, when co-hosts of the tournament, New Zealand, unexpectedly beat former champions, Norway, and it has been upset after upset thereafter.
Germany, Brazil, and Canada have since exited the tournament at the first hurdle, as these waves of unpredictabilities, which have been the headlines of this World Cup hit those footballing powerhouses unexpectedly.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) August 3, 2023
Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco have all made it to the first knockout stage, the first time Africa will have three countries at this stage of the competition. This year’s edition is revealing as the most open Women’s World Cup ever, leaving every team still left in the tournament a shot at creating more historic landmarks.
The Super Falcons, however, have been pitted against European champions, England, for a mouthwatering showdown next Monday, with a place in the last-eight at stake.
Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses are undoubtedly the favorites to progress in Brisbane, as evidenced by their lofty 4th place in the World rankings, while the Europeans are also blessed with talents in every department on the pitch. Chelsea’s Lauren James has three goals and three assists in the tournament already, and she is just one of their array of stars plying their trades in the English WSL and the biggest clubs in Europe.
But, what this year’s edition of the tournament has revealed so far is that talent only might not be enough to overcome a dedicated team, as evidenced by the number of upsets that have occurred in the tournament already.
New Zealand’s 1-0 victory over Norway in the opening game will go down as one of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history, while Germany failed to get a win from their final two group matches against Colombia and South Korea. And Brazil were sent packing after a spirited display by Jamaica in their final group game.
And talking about the upsets that happened in the early days of the tournament, the Super Falcons, themselves, are not left out of the unpredictabilities after finishing second in their highly competitive Group B, which also included Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.
🏴FULL TIME! in Brisbane!
🇮🇪Ireland 0-0 Nigeria 🇳🇬
Job done! ✅ We are through to the knockout stages, without a defeat, in second place of Group B with five points from three games!
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) July 31, 2023
Randy Waldrum’s girls have now earned the chance to replicate Nigeria’s best-ever last-eight achievement in its history of the tournament and aim for what any other African country has never done before – winning a knockout fixture of a Women’s World Cup.
They have already failed to grab what would have been a historic landmark in the goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in their final group game – finishing top of the group for the first time in their history of the competition.
Nevertheless, there is another opportunity for Waldrum and his troops to make remarkable histories at the 2023 Women’s World Cup; equal Nigeria’s best-ever achievement at the tournament, become Africa’s first-ever country to win a knockout fixture, and this might give them another chance at becoming the first African country to reach the last four of the tournament. They have all reasons to go all out against the Lionesses in Brisbane next Monday.