Falcons rue early exit

Falcons lostPlayers 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.

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  • nmomah

    The coach contributed significantly to the early exit of our girls in this competition. I am so sad that all our national team coaches still lack the necessary technical knowledge of modern day football. This same technical deficiency is very obvious with the coaches of the under 17, 20, the super eagles and the super falcon. I don’t even know if our coaches know how to read/study the pattern of play of the opposing team in a competition like the world cup. I listened to the coach of the Australian team, saying that, they know the strength of the Nigerian team, that once they can cut off our dangerous No. 8 player, that their victory against Nigeria was half way guaranteed. Also, they noticed that our defense line was so disjointed and would loose concentration at a crucial moment. Strategically, they played us with that mindset and defeated us by two goals to nothing. Now, I watched our coach’s (Okon) body language during the game against the US, rather than placed Aby on serious marking, he allowed her to have easy assess to our goal line on several occasions. It was very obvious that Okon has no match strategy playing against the US. The offence was blunt and the US defenders did not give our danger girl, no 8, any room to take shots at goal. That is where the technical skill of any coach comes into play. The same thing happened to the under 20 team and the Super Eagles. Look at even our under 17 team, they got beaten in the semi final all because of the same technical deficiency of the coach. You can have 11 Ronaldos or Okochas in your team, but without a technically gifted coach with a sound knowledge of modern day games, such players will easily be defeated by any average team. So, what our coaches need to do urgently, is to invest in themselves by going overseas to learn the technical aspects of the game. It will help them to improve their technical skills and will help improve the standards of the game in the country.

  • AriseNigeria

    Asisat Oshoala was overrated, I saw nothing special in her play. The pattern of play displayed by Nigerian teams, shows the lack of technical depth that is confronting our teams. Set-piece is a modern game, that we have not embraced, and that is why we are finding it difficult to coordinate and effective attack or design purpose a goal. Sunday Oliseh should be drafted to the national team to help us learn how to play technical games, and how to plot the downfall of an enemy. Soccer is more like a chess game, you must plot, distract, deceive your enemy and be able to crack their own plot. Our nation is underdeveloped in every aspect of our lives, and that is evident in many things that we do, including the game of soccer.

  • Burninglight

    AriseNigeria and Mnomah ..You have said it all. We were lucky in our first game. We had no game plan for the competition and it showed.