Nine-time African champions, Nigeria’s Super Falcons who are hoping to achieve what is termed ‘La Decimal’ in Spanish football, are upbeat about making quick recovery following Monday’s loss to their latest rivals, the Banyana Banyana of South Africa.
They are scheduled to face table-toppers, Botswana on Thursday evening in a duel that could be their turning pointing into winning ways. According to information from the team’s camp, they have put aside the loss as they stepped up preparations for the remaining matches of the tournament.
Two goals in three minutes was all the emerging power house in women football on the continent, South Africa needed to secure third win against nine-time African champions in Rabat on Monday and according to the team’s Media Officer, Tobex Tobe-Chukwu, “we have taken the positive criticism in good faith and shrugged of the momentary setback.
“This morning (Tuesday) we just rounded up our recovery training session and the players have put behind them the loss but are looking ahead to the next match. The quest to retain the cup is still high and not diminished by the outcome of the opening match,” she said.
They are condemned to win the match against Botswana and perhaps the last game to Burundi to avoid any form of calculations to reach the knockout phase of the tournament.
“We are very competitive and still hold onto the hashtag going for 10th win of the tournament and we hope to bounce back and compensate Nigerians,” she stated.
She also confirmed that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)President, Amaju Pinnick addressed the players after the match and boosted their morale noting that it was the same scenario at the last edition in Ghana.
In another development, coach of South Africa, Desiree Ellis, has said that her tactics worked to perfection against the Nigerians.
It was goals from Jermaine Seoposenwe in the 60th minute and Hildah Magaia in the 62nd minute that gave the last edition’s runner-up the comfortable lead before Rasheedat Ajibade reduced the deficit in additional time.
“We forced them to play long balls and we knew we could force them to make mistakes at the back which they did, the players delivered our plans.
“We have to focus, we are done with this game and we have to focus on our objectives for the tournament,” she said at the post-match conference according to Sports247.ng.
While Super Falcons Head coach, Randy Waldrum, called for calmness at the post match conference.
“We knew it would be a difficult game, it is the first game of the tournament and it is a long tournament. We have to prepare for the next games.
“I was surprised with our performance in the attack. We got a late goal and we tried to get back in the game, we are still positive. I am looking forward to how we can improve, we will look at the areas we were exposed to and we will make those corrections.” He told journalists at the press conference.
“We can’t panic at this period, we still have two group games and we have to improve. We will analyze and review individual players’ performance and make the right decisions in the next games,” he responded.
On Asisat Oshoala who had to be taken off in the 71st minute after taking a knock in the early minutes of the first half, the gaffer said: “I think she will be fine, the doctors will check her and I am hopeful for a good update.”