The Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus N.Agu-Ejidike (JP), has congratulated the Nigerian senior women national football team, the Super Falcons, on their well-deserved victory against the Matildas – the Falcons’ Australian counterparts.
This was contained in a press release from the Office of the Nigeria Pillar of Sports (ONPS), signed by its chairman, Prince Ajide Olayioye, and made available to the press on Thursday.
The Super Falcons came from behind to record an emphatic 3-2 victory against the co-host, in front of a mammoth crowd of home supporters. Having not had the best of preparations, the Nigerian girls went into the match, as the underdogs, against their better motivated opponents, who had the home crowd behind them.
The Aussies took the lead in the 2nd minute of the added time in the first half through Emily van Egmond, while the Randy Waldrum-tutored girls responded in the 6th minute of the added time, through Uchenna Kanu. The two sides, therefore, ended the first half stalemated. Osinachi Ohale headed the Falcons in front in the 65th minute, with substitute Asisat Oshoala providing the assist. The Barcelona Femenini striker would later register her name on the score sheet 7 minutes later to take the game beyond the reach of the co-hosts. Chiamaka Nnadozie was marvelous in goal again for the Super Falcons, like she did against Canada in their opening game.
Alanna Kennedy would later provide a glimmer of hope for the Matildas, pulling a goal back, in the 10th minute of the added 11, but it was a little too late. The match ended 3-2 in favour of the nine-time African champions.
Ejidike describes the victory as a heroic performance that puts on display, the patriotic zeal that is fuelled by what he describes as the “Spirit of Naija.” He added that he was not surprised by the result, knowing the quality of players who make up the Nigerian team.
The Sports philanthropist expressed belief that the ladies have all it takes to break their own best record in the competition – a quarter finals finish in 1999, against Brazil.
The Sports-loving business mogul, while commending the efforts of the entire Nigerian contingents to the World Cup, also charged the girls to go, make the final group match against Ireland, a stroll in the pack, and comfortably book their place in the second round of the completion. He equally urged them, not losing focus.
The Super Falcons are currently top of the group with for points, same as Canada, but with a superior goal difference of +2, against Canada, who have +1. The Falcons’ next match against Ireland comes up on Monday, 31st of July, by 11am. An emphatic victory will see the Falcons top the group, going into the round of 16.
Oshoala’s goal makes her the first ever Nigerian player to score in three consecutive world cups.