Randy Waldrum, the head coach of the Super Falcons, expressed confidence that the 11-time African champions are well-positioned to ascend the ranks in women’s football, citing their remarkable showing at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Nigeria’s journey in the tournament ended with a heart-wrenching exit, as they were defeated 4-2 on penalties by England in the round of 16 after a goalless regulation and extra time.
Despite being the lowest-ranked team in their group, the Falcons defied expectations and ousted higher-ranked teams, including Olympic champions Canada and co-hosts Australia, demonstrating their competitive prowess. England, who eliminated the Falcons, are the fourth-ranked team in the world.
Although the tournament marked their departure, Waldrum commended his players for their exceptional character and performance that defied the odds.
“We have the potential to become one of the top teams globally, moving up from our current FIFA ranking of 40. Our performance has showcased our ability to compete against any team. England’s advantage lay in their experience, being able to navigate a man down and manage the game. That’s an area we could improve upon,” Waldrum stated post-game.
He also acknowledged the English counterpart, Sarina Wiegman, and praised the Falcons’ tactical prowess, particularly in pressing their opponents. Waldrum concluded by acknowledging that with a touch of fortune, their outcomes could have been different, underlining the team’s potential for growth.