Falcons rue early exit
Players of the Super Falcons have described as ‘painful’ their early exit from the Canada 2015 FIFA World Cup. Nigeria with only one point from three group games waved goodbye to the tournament yesterday morning, following a 0-1 defeat to USA, no thanks to Abbey Wambach’s volley off a corner kick with few seconds to the end of first half.
It was a repeat of their last group match in Shanghai, China, in 2007 edition of the World Cup, where the Americans sent the African sleeping giants, Super Falcons, out of the race with same score line.
This time in Vancouver, the Falcons started brightly with Asisat Oshoala coming close to getting the opener after an earlier goal by the USA was ruled offside. Nigeria’s attack did not give Hope Solo much trouble as expected.
Rather, it was the two-time world champions who piled the pressure on Nigeria in the second half and things became worse for the Falcons in the 69th minute, when Sarah Nnodim was given the marching order when she picked up her second yellow card after bringing down Sydney Leroux just outside the area. The introduction of Ayinde and Desire Oparanozie for Esther Sunday and Courtney Dike did not make much difference.
Speaking after the defeat, goalkeeper Precious Dede, who gave a good account of herself in the game, said it was really painful they couldn’t advance from the group stage despite their determination, faith and hard work.
Dede was in post for the Falcons in 2007, when Wambach and co. ended their dream also in the group stage in China. “After we lost to Australia in our second group match in Winnipeg, we adjusted properly with the hope of winning this game and progressing to the next stage. But here we are making our way back to Nigeria when the competition has not even gone half way. It is really sad,” Dede lamented.