Some coaches and ex-internationals yesterday described the Falconets’ 0-2 defeat to the U.S. in the first semi-finals of the ongoing FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in Japan as unfortunate.
The U.S. team scored a goal each in both halves of the match to deny the Falconets a second successive final.
Ex-international and Coach, Henry Nwosu said that “the girls have tried and it’s only unfortunate they lost in the semi-finals,” He urge the team to aim for the third place medal.
“They should be confident that they can win the bronze medal, though it would have been better if they had lifted the trophy,” Nwosu said.
Ex-goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu, said the defeat was saddening, but charged the team to go all out and make the country proud by finishing third.
According to him, the Falconets failed to beat the U.S. because they relied more on individual play, instead of team work, but overall, I think they have had a good tournament.
“But they can do better by going a step further from this defeat to winning the third place match, to still make the country proud,” he said.
The General Manager of 3SC FC of Ibadan, Mutiu Adepoju, attributed the team’s defeat to their inability to convert their chances and advised them to win the third place match as a consolation.
“It’s very unfortunate that we lost the match; we were just unable to convert our chances.
“They should try as much as possible to win the third place match; if they finish third, it will be a good compensation for failing to reach the final,” he said.
Also reacting to the defeat, Paul Hamilton, said it was sad, but noted that the Falconets have had an impressive tournament.
“It’s a sad loss; the team gave their best, but their best wasn’t good enough. I think they had an impressive tournament and deserve to be commended,” he said.
Fatai Amao, a former assistant coach of the Super Eagles, said: “We expected to get to the final, like we did the last time. But we should take out the positives from it and work on the negatives.”
In her reaction, Super Falcons team Coordinator, Henrietta Ukaigwe, described the loss as a sad one for the team, having given a good account of themselves in the tournament.
She, however, expressed the optimism that the U-20 team would come home with the bronze medal and hopefully, be given a chance to transit to the senior national team.
The Falconets will on Saturday take on Japan, which lost 0-3 to the defending champions, Germany, in the second semi-final game.