Waldrum: Super Falcons Can Emulate Class of 1999 Down Under
Super Falcons Head Coach, Randy Waldrum, has reiterated the confidence he has in the present Super Falcons as they gear up for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The Super Falcons got a spot in the mundial after defeating Cameroon’s Lionesses in the quarter finals of the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco last summer, with Rasheedat Ajibade scoring the crucial goal to earn a semi-final spot and the ticket to Australia/New Zealand.
It meant the Falcons have made through to all editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – a record shared with only six other teams globally.
Speaking on NFF website yesterday, Waldrum said he believes that the present crop of Super Falcons are capable of emulating the 1999 set, and match their predecessors’ feat of a quarter-final place at the global finals.
The Class of 1999 led by Florence Omagbemi defeated North Korea 2-1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with goals from Mercy Akide and Rita Nwadike, before losing 1-7 to the USA despite taking a second-minute lead through Nkiru Okosieme.
Defeat to the Americans in Chicago stirred something in Africa’s lone flag-bearer at the first FIFA Women’s World Cup to feature 16 teams.
In their next match, the Super Falcons flew past Denmark 2-0 at the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium near Washington DC, the goals coming from Mercy Akide and Nkiru Okosieme.
In the quarter finals, at the same venue, the Nigerian girls stormed back from three goals down to Brazil in the first half to tie the game 3-3, with Prisca Emeafu, Nkiru Okosieme and Nkechi Egbe the scorers, before Brazil won in extra-time, in what was the very first time a women’s competitive game was decided by the golden goal. This was after 104 minutes.
“I am confident and realistic about this. We have an abundance of talents in the squad and I am convinced they can go that far. This particular team is very talented and has the same ability to go far in the tournament, just like the Class of 1999.
“To be able to achieve this and even more, we need to have all players in fit condition, healthy and most importantly have enough time together. If we have enough time together, we have the ability to be successful at the World Cup,” Waldrum said.
The Super Falcons have been drawn alongside Olympic champions Canada, co-hosts Australia and Republic of Ireland in Group B of the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, and will play all their group phase matches in Australia – one in Melbourne and two in Brisbane.