I sort of hinted at it that the Super Falcons are seeking to garner all 3 points from this match.
Coach Randy Waldrum kinda gave it away in a recent interview by stating that “there are 6 points on offer in the other 2 games”.
Read to that what you will.
Now Ebi has hinted at something similar. "It is very important for us to collect the three points on Thursday. That will put us in a great position before we play the Irish,”Ebi told thenff.com.
So, are we going to see an open game? Will the Super Falcons come out all guns blazing?
Well, to be honest, I haven’t seen the Super Falcons under Waldrum being aggressors. For one, we are not technically grounded when it comes to stringing intricate, imaginative passes together for a sustained period in a manner that hurts opponents.
Long balls from deep, crosses, inswingers, long range strikes and through balls from anywhere in attacking midfield are the staples of Waldrum’s attacking philosophy.
But, how do we travel with the ball into dangerous areas to pounce? The likes of Ajibade, Payne, Alozie and surprisingly sometimes Plumptre are the ones tasked with traveling with the ball. Personally I think we need more ball carriers in the team.
Onumonu’s job is to hold up play, bring others in, latch on to through passes, deliver inswingers and score a variety of goals. If we are to play quick passing fluid movement game, then either Onumonu refines her approach or, left to me, Gift Monday or Uchenna Kanu will be better suited for a more direct approach.
Supply to Oshoala has to be better. Her role is simple: latch on to a variety of through and driven high and low passes to score goals. She does occasionally drift inwards and the wings to create space of others in the middle. If properly executed, a strategy that sees Oshoala operating behind enemy lines can be ruthless.
Ucheibe is a defensive midfield behemoth. She offers little attacking threat but her abilities to bail out the defenders will be crucial in an open game.
Fullbacks, Michelle Alozie is fantastic when support the attacking efforts with her nifty footwork, crossing deliveries and presence in attacking areas and long balls from deep.
Plumptre offers her attacking threats with route one long balls from deep, long throw ins, and contributions to build up of passes from the back and willingness to unleash bullet shots. Personally I think Rafiat Imruan or Glory Ogbonna will move quicker with the ball and may deliver more crosses than Plumptre. But when it comes to actual QUALITY of deliveries, Plumptre reigns supreme.
All in all I think we have what it takes to go toe to toe with Australia.
Will Waldrum be brave enough to start Gift Monday or Uchenna Kanu from the start in lieu of Onumonu?Will he be dynamic enough to shift Plumptre to centre defense and start Ogbonna or Imruan in full back?Will we see a Super Falcons attacking apparatus able to play to Oshoala’s strengths?Or is Oshoala even better suited in the flanks? Or will Waldrum pair Oshoala and Onumonu in a two pronged attack?
We will find out when the time comes.