Following the Super Falcons embarrassing 4-2 defeat to South Africa at the recently concluded Aisha Buhari Invitational tournament, former players of the team have unanimously agreed that the team needs an overhaul.
Two penalties and an own goal by defender Michelle Alozie handed the Banyana Banyana a famous win in the final played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos on Tuesday.
Speaking with Newsmen Stella Mbachu who starred for the Falcons from 1999 to 2014 and won six Africa Women Cup of Nations titles with the team said Randy Waldrum’s team lacked fitness and were out of sort in the finals.
“That was not a good game, it was obvious the Falcons were not in their right frame of mind,” she said.
“The game was a bad one that is not the team I know. The entire team didn’t play well.
“They need to put this behind them and work harder to perform better during the Africa Women’s Qualifiers.
“They need to overhaul the team and reassemble a new team. The Falcons need to be worked on. They lacked fitness as a coach in my own opinion and that was why the South Africans out ran them.
Tidesports source reports that on Waldrum’s tactics, Mbachu said she does not know his pattern since he arrived maybe he needs more time with the team. He needs to study the players more particularly those playing in the Nigeria Women Football League.
The Nigerian Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick also agreed that the Falcons needs a rejig as the defeat to South Africa exposed the weakness of the team.
“We are all disappointed by the performance of the Super Falcons, especially on a day we claim to be celebrating the Girl Child,” he said.
“The whole essence of this competition for us as NFF has been achieved. We have a qualifier against Ghana in the next few weeks so we needed these matches to test the readiness of our players for the task ahead.
“The Banyana Banyana team has exposed the weaknesses in our team. They came to Lagos with so many young players and gave our girls some football lessons on the day.
“For me, the lesson here is that, we need to inject more players from the NWFL into the team. As you can see, the outstanding players in Nigeria’s two matches against Mali and South Africa are home based players and that is the more reason why we must invest more in the Nigeria women’s football league to expose more of these hidden talents.”
Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Austin Eguavoen, also agreed on the overhaul but added it must be gradual.
“The whole crowd was shocked with the result. They are not playing well and that is why it is tagged the Aisha Buhari International friendly and it is an opportunity for the coach and the entire Nigeria especially football stakeholders to start looking inward.
“But we cannot wipe these girls out completely, it is impossible and that’s why it has to be a gradual process,” he added.
Good Character Of My Players Gave Us Victory – Eguma
He stated that the character displayed in the field of play gave them edge over their opponents, saying that the game was one of the difficult matches he had played because to penetrate the defence of Remo Stars was a big task.
Eguma made said this on Sunday in his post match interview with sports journalists shortly after the Pride of Rivers pip Remo Stars FC 1-0 in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match day 29 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt.
He explained that the visitors employed a very difficult tactics to penetrate they defence, hence he noticed that he brought in players that can commit in their 18 yard box and that is how they were able to get the free kick that brought the goal.
The only goal of the encourter was scored in the 76th minute by Kazie Enyinnaya, which has helped the pride of Rivers to lead the NPFL table with seven points.
“ Right from the beginning of the game our opponents keep defending.
They employed a very difficult tactics.
The game was hard and tough.
It was very difficult to penetrate their defence so we have to change tacties to open their defence.
It was a great game for us, but today my players showed character and we won,” Eguma said.
Also speaking the head coach of Remo Stars FC Gbenga Ogunbote, said the memory is taking home is that he lost a game he would have ordinarily won.
However, he hailed the pride of Rivers for been at their best to take the three maximum points.
“The game has come and gone we just have to take the positive out of it.
My take home memory is losing a game that I supposed to have won.
Rivers United were just thirsty to score and they were lucky to have gotten one,” Ogunbote said.
By: Kiadum Edookor
AWC: Nigeria Claims Three Medals In Morocco
Wrestling in the 57kg FS, Commonwealth silver-medallist Ebikewenimo Welson won silver, while African champions Ogbonna John (74kg) and Ekerekeme Agiomor (86kg) both settled for bronze medals.
After securing quarter and semi-final wins against Congo DR’s Rabby Kilandi (12-1 via fall) and Diamantino Iuna Fafe of Guinea-Bissau (2-1), Welson lost 5-0 to Gamal Mohamed of Egypt in the final.
On his part, John, who had won four straight African titles hitherto failed to make it five in a row, after he was stopped in the semi-finals by Egyptian Amr Hussen via a fall victory. He however won bronze by overcoming Brian Oloo of Kenya 10-0 via superiority in the 74kg class.
Similarly, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Agiomor (86kg) also claimed bronze after beating Tunisian Sabri Mnasria 9-0.
After receiving a bye in the qualification round, the 2018 African champion defeated Guma Bashir of Sudan 10-0 via pinfall in the quarter-finals before narrowly going down 3-2 to Egyptian Mahmoud Badawi in the last 4.
On the penultimate day of the competition, Team Nigeria claimed 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals in the Women Wrestling events.
Gov Diri Lauds Bayelsa Queens …As They Wins Super Six
The Bayelsa State-sponsored team overcame five other rivals in the NWFL Super Six Championship, which ended on Sunday in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The governor described their unbeaten run at the championship as a manifestation of the fact that their brilliant performance during the regular season was not a fluke.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor noted that Bayelsa Queens did not just emerge champions, but also put up one of the best overall performances in the history of the competition as they won all their five matches to amass a total of 15 points.
Also, a member of the team, Gift Monday, won the top scorer award with a total of 12 goals while the team’s goalkeeper, Gabrielle Ange Bawou, won the best goalkeeper prize.
The governor, who was full of praises for the team, attributed their brilliant performance to hard work, commitment and focus on the part of the management, the coaches and the players.
He also commended the Aisha Falode-led NWFL Board for organising what he described as a hitch-free competition that produced a true and worthy champions in Bayelsa Queens.
He gave the assurance that the state government would continue to support the team to win more laurels for the state and the country, especially now that it had qualified to represent Nigeria at the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B play-off for the second CAF African Women’s Champions League.
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