Waldrum’s starting line up against Morocco was truly strong. The midfield was tried and tested, the strike force had bite and the defence was solid.
It was a match they were navigating towards victory before rush-of-blood to two heads derailed their efforts spectacularly.
Fans up and down the land and in diaspora and Mars have been praising the Super Falcons for their ‘resilience, fortitude and bravery’ in staying the course despite being depleted for the better part of 50 intense minutes.
For me, the truth is that they should never have found themselves in that position to start with. A serious minded Football Association will immediately open an inquest as to how the Super Falcons lost their discipline in such a scandalous manner in such a crucial tie.
A team with players conceding such blatant punishable fouls have no business winning tournaments. One of such a foul is careless enough, but 2? It is beyond words.
Upon the conduct of one depends the fate of all. There can be no sugar-coating it: the conduct of Ayinde and Ajibade let the whole team down and, in one fell swoop, flushed their tournament winning credentials down the toilet.
Yes, I applaud the remaining depleted players for holding their own but in truth, teams like South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast or even Cameroon would have taken that depleted Super Falcons squad to the cleaners without using detergent yesterday.
Morocco were just poor and profligate in the final third which gave rise to this illusion of the Super Falcons’ gallantry. Gallantry, yeah, like I never heard that before!!!
The so called gallantry is a mere smokescreen that continues to deflect attention from the fact that the erstwhile defending champions should never in a million years have found themselves in such a hell of their own making.
If Nigeria’s performance in this Wafcon is a barometer of what to expect at the World Cup next year, then the bar should be set as low as possible.
A team that can capitulate so embarrassingly against modest Morocco in the continent, what will they do against the likes of France, England or the USA?
Against Germany at the second round of the last women’s world cup, one of such crude tackles from Nwabuoku led to a VAR awarded penalty for Germany in the 3:0 whitewash.
Against France in the group stages of the same world cup, another crude tackle from Ebere led to the VAR assisted penalty for France’s only goal. Or was that a CAF organised tournament?
Why didn’t we praise the ‘gallantry and bravery’ of the Super Falcons on those occasions? BECAUSE THOSE TEAMS MADE US SUFFER FOR MEANINGLESS TACKLES IN SUCH A WAY THAT MOROCCO AS WELL SHOULD HAVE MADE US SUFFER YESTERDAY.
That was 2019: two crude tackles against France and Germany, two VAR assisted punishments. It is 2022 and we are still making the same mistakes – 2 of them in one match.
There were 2 handball situations inside the 18 yard box that could have gone against Nigeria from Alozie and Ohale, I think), luckily, the VAR Officials had gone to the toilet on both occasions.
Yesterday’s match was just a shambles and on this evidence, this team is nowhere ready to make an appreciable impact at the World Cup. Nigeria has always been a team to just make up the numbers at the World Cup. Nothing suggests to me that this tournament will be any different.
At least we went to the last World Cup as African champions where we still managed to display our Jackie Chan tendencies. Now, that Bruce Lee tendency was dialled up to eleven against Morocco!
Anyway, we have been used to the Super Eagles delivering us no end of bronze medals in the men’s Afcon. This batton has now been handed to the Super Falcons and those who can be bothered to watch Friday’s losers final should be ready to rain curses on VAR again if the spirit of Bruce Lee is not left to rest in peace!
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