Abiodun, Waldrum Play Down JujuEffect in Falcons’ Win over Cameroon

Abiodun, Waldrum Play Down JujuEffect in Falcons’ Win over Cameroon

Femi Solaja 

With focus now shifted to the final Olympic Game qualification showdown  between Nigeria and  African Champions South Africa, the last-minute ugly incident during Monday’s clash between the Super Falcons and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses has reopened talks on the efficacy of voodoo (Juju) in modern-day sports, especially football.

In the crucial second leg clash between Nigeria and Cameroon at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja,  Cameroonian Annie Enganemben who came on as substitute late  in the game, alongside another striker, were seen trying to run towards the Nigerian goal post in an attempt to touch the net or ‘put something’ there, but Asisat Oshoala didn’t allow that to happen. Eventually, she broke free but hit Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie in the process, the Lioness was given a marching order.  

The only goal of the two-legged tie came in the early minutes of the first half, with Esther Okoronkwo tapping home from close range after Jennifer Echegini’s clever footwork on the edge of the box.

However, in the post-match interview, Super Falcons’ defensive midfielder, Deborah Abiodun, and Coach Randy Waldrum glossed over the effect of juju after Nigeria progressed into the last match for the Olympic ticket.

In her reaction on the incident, Abiodun said: “I’m a local girl, so I understand what happened. We kind of saw it as a point of distraction but we remained focused regardless of whatever they believe in, we believe in God, and in Him, we stand. So we don’t care about the voodoo,” the Pitt Panthers player added in reference to what the Cameroonian player was attempting to do inside Super Falcons goal post.

In the same vein, Coach Waldrum explained that didn’t believe in whatever the Cameroon team tried to do and was just happy he got the win.

“I don’t believe in voodoo, so I don’t know what all of that was about,” the 67-year-old American gaffer said  

As predicted yesterday, South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on Tuesday evening defeated rejuvenated Tanzania team 1-0 at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit to get a 4-0 aggregate scoreline to book a final showdown with Nigeria for one of the two African tickets for the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

It was not a stroll in the pack for South Africa as expected following an earlier 3-0 away win last Friday. Thembi Kgatlana, skipper of the side, got them the only goal of the second leg in the 58th minute.

Nigeria had on Monday beaten Cameroon 1-0 in Abuja after a 0-0 scoreline in Douala on Friday

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