Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum was full of praises for the team’s youngsters following their performance in Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to Canada at the BC Place Stadium, Vancouver on Friday night (early Saturday in Nigeria).
The Olympic champions made a return to British Columbia after over a year and dispatched African champions Nigeria courtesy of two second half goals by Jessie Fleming (51′) and Vanessa Gilles (72′).
Nigeria were depleted in the second half when captain Onome Ebi and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie went off injured. The situation allowed for young players such as Onyinye Echegini and Peace Efih to earn rare caps for the team.
FT: Canada 2-0 Nigeria— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) April 9, 2022
While men slept, the Olympic champions beat the African champions courtesy of second half goals by Jessie Fleming and Vanessa Gilles.
Both teams face again on Monday in same British Columbia.pic.twitter.com/K5Eq80ThpD
Waldrum, in the post-match press conference praised the players and the team’s performance as a whole.
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“I told them after the game, this is part of the process to get to where a team like Canada are, a top team in the world. It’s a process,” began the 65-year old American.
He continued: “Canada didn’t arrive here overnight either so we made them to understand that the result in a friendly against a top team like this is not as important as the quality of play (and) the performance itself.
“Obviously, everybody wants to get the result when they step onto the field of play but we knew what the challenge was and I think this will make us better because we had to play some young players who normally wouldn’t play.
“We can in some way justify that this is not our full squad considering the number of absent players we had but I think the good thing is that we try to teach our players to play with what we have and I thought the young ones really rose to the occasion. It will definitely prepare us better for the (Women’s) AFCON,” said Waldrum.
The Falcons will face the Canadians in the second leg of the double-header friendly game on Monday night at the Starlight Stadium in Victoria, British Columbia.
Chiamaka Nnadozie (Oluehi 70′); Nicole Payne, Glory Ogbonna (Peace Efih 83′), Onome Ebi (Amanda Mbadi 60′); Christy Ucheibe, Rasheedat Ajibade, Rita Chikwelu (Michelle Alozie 46′); Toni Payne, Uchenna Kanu (80′), Ifeoma Onumonu.