Poor Falcons Stumble as Banyana Claim All Three Points in 2-1 Defeat

Femi Solaja 

Nigeria’s Super Falcons stumbled 1-2 against South Africa in their opening Group C game of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Rabat, Morocco  yesterday.

The South African ladies fondly called Banyana Banyana dominated both halves of the game tagged ‘final before final’ with better ball possessions.

The first half however ended with no scores.

Banyana Banyana however turned the table and were up 2-0 within two minutes of the hour-mark after Jermaine Seoposenwe hooked the ball into the Nigeria defence to get a clear chance to beat goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi from close range. Natalie Cesane began the move, beating hard-working Ashleigh Plumptre with classy footwork on the edge of the Nigeria area before sending a through pass to Jermaine to finish up. 

The cheers and back-slapping on the Banyana bench had hardly died down when, after nifty exchange of passes in the middle, Michelle Alozie was beaten with a long ball on the Nigeria right and Hildah Magaia shot past onrushing Tochukwu Oluehi.

The Super Falcons looked rejuvenated after Francisca Ordega and Uchenna Kanu came into the fray for Asisat Oshoala and Ifeoma Onumonu respectively. Two minutes into added time, Rasheedat Ajibade reduced the deficit when she found the ball at her feet in the box after good work and pass by captain Onome Ebi.

Cup holders Nigeria must gain all three points against Botswana in their second match of the competition on Thursday to revive their campaign.

Speaking with reporters after the game, Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum admitted he knew the clash with South Africa was going to be a difficult one.

“We knew it would be a difficult game. It is the first game of the tournament for us. We have to prepare for the next games.”

He was however surprised with the blunt attack paraded for the better part of the 90 minutes.

“I was surprised with our performance in the attack. We however got a late goal and we tried to get back in the game but was too late. We however remain  positive. I am looking forward to how we can improve.”

Waldrum promised to look at the areas where Falcons lacked bite in the clash with the South Africans.

“ We were exposed and we will have to make necessary corrections before our next matches in the tournament.”

He insisted that there was no need to press the panic button now.

“We can’t panic at this period. We still have two group games and we have to improve. 

“We will analyse and review individual player’s performance and make the right decisions in our next games.” 

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