Cote d’Ivoire’s heavy loss inspired us, says Dede
Cote d’Ivoire’s 0-10 loss to Germany in Ottawa on Monday in their opening game of the on-going Women World Cup jolted Nigeria such that the Super Falcons vowed to avoid such fate in their game against Sweden.
According to veteran goalkeeper, Precious Dede, the Super Falcons were shocked into tightening their belt by their fellow West Africans’ loss and they, therefore, swore to make Sweden pay for Germany’s sins.
Dede said, “it was embarrassing to us as Africans, but it also got us thinking that if we were not serious we might suffer the same faith.
“We have a great team, but some of the players are new to this level of the competition hence the senior players among us have taken it upon us to lead the team
. And I can assure you that for every injury on Africa’s pride, Nigeria will exert just revenge.’’Some observers have blamed Dede for some of the goals scored by Sweden, but the goalkeeper believes the game was made to end the way it did.
“If we had five more minutes I am sure we would have won the game. “Remember, it is our first game and I want to assure Nigerians that we are ready for the challenges ahead,” She said.
The Super Falcons of Nigeria made an ominous start in the game against Sweden, with two set pieces given the Europeans two goals in 31 minutes.
In contrast to their inability to deal with the Scandinavian side’s corner kicks, they had shown enough going forward that they could cause Sweden problems. The Super Falcons were faster, stronger and showed more desire to play a direct style.
Liverpool’s Asisat Oshoala was a threat from the right. Rather than stick out wide she was constantly joining the attack and playing more as a forward than a midfielder.
Nigeria’s 4-4-2 looked more like 4-2-4, Oshoala on the right and Ngozi Okobi on the left, used their pace and movement to find gaps in the Sweden defence. With only five minutes of the second half gone, Nigeria were rewarded for their positive play. Centre forward Desire Oparanozie had made a run wide right and played in an excellent low cross into the middle.
Okobi, pushing in from the left, with her first touch left Nilla Fischer—one of the most respected defenders in the game—for dead, and finished beautifully with her right foot. Only minutes later, Okobi, adjudged the MVP of the Game, turned provider.
The powerful runs from Oshoala had caused constant problems to the back four, and this time she was picked out perfectly by Okobi. One on one with Hedvig Lindahl, the Under-20 World Cup star announced herself to the World Cup with a calm low finish.
Sembrant handed the lead back to Sweden after good build-up play on the left side resulted in Lina Nilsson’s cross that the substitute managed to direct past Dede with her thigh.
However, Francisca Ordega salvaged a point for the Super Falcons three minutes from time with a shot that managed to slip through the legs of Lindahl, leaving the two sides tied at 3-3.