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Exploring The Super Falcons Attacking Philosophy At The World Cup


How Super Falcons Seek to Harm Oppositions

To be honest, it was a bit difficult in real time to decipher how the Super Falcons attempted to create goals scoring opportunities in their first game. Some observers went as far as concluding that Waldrum’s angels did not display any clear goal scoring strategy against Canada – for me, nothing could be further from the truth.


But yes, in a match where they largely focused on containing the opposition with focus, defensive discipline and pristine organisation, it was easy to miss the identity the Falcons tried to craft in how they carve out goals scoring opportunities.


Here, I will seek to highlight the routines, techniques and manoeuvres the Super Falcons employed in trying to bulge the back of the net.


As the Super Falcons achieved their objectives in coming out of that match with a positive result, I won’t be surprised if Waldrum sticks to the same chances creation/goals scoring template. After all Nigeria executed 8 shots on goal and generated 6 corner kicks from their attacking forays in the first match.

It follows therefore that Waldrum will seek to improve on these stats by retaining the methods that created those opportunities in a manner that will aid the team in honing these methods to perfection, rather than adopting whole new methods.


Super Falcons Approaches To Scoring Goals


1. Route One, Long Balls: the sole centre forward Oshoala attempted to latch on to long balls from Abiodun, Plumptre, Alozie and Demehin. 


These long balls were not adequately executed particularly by Abiodun - her long balls were wayward to say the least. The one delivered by Plumptre came closest to causing a goal but Oshoala fluffed her lines. 


Prognosis: these long balls can be improved upon to be  a valuable instrument in Nigeria's attacking toolkit. 


2. Crosses and Pullouts: Ordega and Alozie delivered 4 crosses between them in the against Canada on the right side whilst this was barren on the left side as Onumonu and Plumptre struggled to get into the right space to deliver. 


Prognosis: Oshoala (if she continues to be the sole center forward) needs crosses flying in left right and even center. Crosses surely are one of the go-to strategies that Waldrum is banking on to unlock defences. 


If that is the cases, he needs wingers and fullbacks who are adept at these deliveries. Hence the decision to play Onumonu and Plumptre on the flanks needs reviewing. 


3. Cut-ins and Long Range Strikes: This is where Onumonu and Plumptre shine. Both are known for delivering bullet long range strikes in play or in dead ball situations. In fact Nigeria's best chance against Canada came as a result of Onumonu's belter from range which stung the palms of the goalkeeper.  She likes to cut in from the right flank to unleash ferocious shots; Uchenna Kanu also cuts in from the flanks to curl efforts into the net (she was fouled as she attempted this against Canada).

They are both huge threats in this scenario. Even Abiodun (1st half) and Ucheibe (2nd half) attempted long range strikes which ballooned to the stands but the intention was clear proving that Waldrum Okays this approach.


Prognosis: Onumonu and Plumptre definitely belong to this highest level of football. If utilised and positioned properly, their deliveries could be invaluable in bulging the backs of nets in the tournament. 

4. Throw-ins: One lesser known defence unlocking strategy of the Super Falcons is Ashleigh Plumptre’s deceptive throw-ins close to opposition box. She has different variations of this: one is direct and the other like a through pass. Both almost connected with Oshoala to cause Canada problems, one almost led to a penalty kick had Oshoala being rough-handled when trying to retrieve the ball. Another led to Onumonu being hit on the head just outside Canada’s 18 yard box.

Prognosis: These throw-ins have the potential to lead to assists or pre-assists to goals.



In short, the Waldrum’s Super Falcons attempt to create scoring opportunities via several means depending on the circumstances. Crosses, route one football, long range strikes and throw-ins were predominantly employed against Canada. They did have several corner kicks and in fairness “crowding-the-goalkeeper” approach appeared to ruffle the Canadians, I am unconvinced about its potential to cause harm to opposition net.


I firmly expect the team to improve on these methods in propelling them to more positive outcomes in subsequent games.





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