The former African champions could not muster a win over the 124th-ranked Ethiopians
Super Falcons stand-in coach Justin Madugu has admitted that Ethiopia were a difficult opponent for Nigeria to overcome on Wednesday, Soccernet.ng reports.
Super Falcons, Africa’s number-one ranked team, stumbled to a 1-1 with Ethiopia at the Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa in the first leg of their 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.
Birkie Amare gave the hosts the lead in the sixth minute after she capitalised on a goalmouth scramble.
Rasheedat Ajibade equalised for the Super Falcons shortly after the halftime break with an excellent volley.
The nine-time African champions had another goal ruled out for offside as they settled for a share of the spoils with a team ranked 124th in the world.
Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum did not take charge of the match, as he was unavailable due to personal commitments in the United States.
In his place, one of his assistants, Justin Madugu, led the coaching crew to sit in the dugout as the Falcons struggled to get the better of the Lucy of Ethiopia.
After the encounter, Madugu confessed that the game was not a stroll in the Park for Nigeria as Ethiopia were keen to avoid defeat.
The former Adamawa United chief coach, however, vowed that the Super Falcons will overcome the East Africans in the return leg on Sunday.
“It wasn’t an easy game because the Ethiopians also ensured they got something from the game,” Madugu said.
“We came with the aim of winning, but it didn’t come out as expected. We will ensure we get a better result at home.”
Head coach Waldrum is expected to return to guide the Super Falcons for the second-leg fixture against Ethiopia on Sunday.
The American gaffer led Nigeria to reach the knockout round of the 2023 FIFA World Cup, with the team losing none of the matches played in regulation time.