In two games thus far played against teams placed higher than Nigeria in the Fifa rankings, Waldrum’s Super Falcons are yet to record a single victory.
Against Portugal (placed 29 in the Fifa rankings) on 14 June last year, the team was very impressive in their 3:3 draw. Rasheedat Ajibade and Amarachi Okonkwo scored 2 of the goals sandwiched between a Portuguese own goal.
Three days later, Waldrum’s ladies lost gallantly to the number one team in the world United States in a boisterous stadium where they set up with a defensive 5-3-2 formation to help tame the fury of the American strike force led by the merciless Megan Rapinoe.
The Super Falcons are currently placed 41 in the Fifa rankings.
Against teams placed lower than Nigeria in the rankings, Waldrum’s ladies have returned seven wins out of ten, losing to South Africa, Ghana and Jamaica. But the loses do nothing to dim how impressive this 70% win ratio is.
Furthermore, qualifying for the Afcon by overcoming continental powerhouses Ghana and Ivory Coast only goes to show that the Super Falcons are punching their weight under relentless Randy.
But clearly he wants more, the NFF wants more and the fans yearn for more. The collective ambition is to see the Super Falcons set the bar higher and forge to ever greater frontiers in world football.
It is high time the Super Falcons starts punching above her weight and with some arrogance too.
“We also [have] in mind the imperative of building a squad with the strength, stamina and technical balance to give the world’s best teams a good run for their money, anyday and anywhere.” Expressed an ambitious Randy.
And that is what I will be closely monitoring in games to come.
The team showed a lot of character and resourcefulness against Portugal and the USA last year but going forward, these sort of encounters will need to be laced with compelling swashbuckling victories as a marker of Waldrum achieving his own ambitions.
The NFF are pretty good at lining up ‘A’ grade friendlies for the Super Falcons and also tends to register them for mouthwatering invitational tournaments. More of these will be greatly appreciated in months to come.
With young, dynamic and effervescent dual nationality and homegrown players being injected to the squad of mature, visionary cool heads like evergreen Onome Ebi Rita Chikwelu and Fransisca Ordega, Waldrum (fresh off signing a new 2 year contract) is positive that his ladies can reach new heights and bring joy to the fans.
“The girls are bold, inventive and help one another out there on the pitch. It is a good picture that brings good feelings and you have the conviction that this is a team that can do great things.” Enthused the American coach.
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