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Paris 2024: Waldrum urges Falcons to be more clinical infront of goal

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Super Falcons’ Coach Randy Waldrum has urged his team to be more clinical in front of goal.

He said this was critical, if they intend to beat their South African counterparts to the final round qualification ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The nine-time African champions pipped Cameroon’s Lionesses 1-0 in a crucial second leg Women’s Olympic football qualifier, after a pulsating encounter in Abuja.

But they could have paid dearly had the visitors nicked an away goal late in the tie.

Nigeria had several chances to kill the game in the first half after enjoying a good start to the encounter.

However, poor finishing from Jennifer Echegini, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, and Esther Okoronkwo left Nigeria holding on for dear life after Cameroon gained the upper hand in the second half.

Waldrum told reporters during a post-match conference that his team created alot of chances but failed to make them count, adding that the weather also had an adverse effect on the players.

“In the match we had some chances that we missed and it was a match we really struggled to win.

“You can go back and look at the opportunities that we had. We could have easily finished the game at half time.

“So, we have to be more efficient and clinical around our opponents vital area and convert chances into goals.

“I would have also preferred the match to be played in the night because the weather was hot, but we can’t complain because the players are all Nigerians and are used to it,” he said.

On his tactical approach to the game, he said he ensured that the best 11 started the match at home, adding however that he had confidence in every player, even those that didn’t play the match.

Coach Waldrum made the bold decision to bench Bay FC forward Asisat Oshoala, choosing instead to start Okoronkwo in attack.

Juventus star Echegini also made the starting eleven of the encounter after sitting on the bench from kickoff in the first leg.

It proved to be an inspired decision as both Echegini and Okoronkwo combined to score the decisive goal.

Aside from the goal, the two players were classy with the ball and fought hard without it to make the Super Falcons attack lively in the first half.

Oshoala emerged from the bench in the second half and did her bit, but coach Waldrum would be thanking his stars for going with his gut’s decision to start Okoronkwo.

The coach also said  that the team had some players sidelined with injury, saying however that he was hopeful that they would recover before their next game.

“We have some injuries that we must take care of before our next round against Bayana Bayana of South Africa.

“We will get the videos of our next opponent, play it and study it to know how to deal with them,” he said.

The nine-time champions of Africa take on reigning African champions South Africa in the final round fixture  in April.

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NFF appoints Garba Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

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The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner,  Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at NFF announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Garba’s squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game.

It drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they defeated Iran 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals.

They went ahead to dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

Olajire said Garba will resume immediately and take charge of the team’s preparations for the WAFU B U17 Championship, scheduled for Ghana in May.

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I’m not desperate for Super Eagles coaching job — Emmanuel Amuneke

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1996 Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said that although he would love to coach the Super Eagles if given the opportunity, he was not desperate for the job.

Amuneke, a former Super Eagles player, said this while addressing journalists in Owerri on Tuesday.

The former Nigeria U-17 national team coach and former coach of the Tanzania national team, said the job of coaching Nigeria’s national team should be given on merit and to those with the interest of football and Nigeria at heart.

The Spain based former striker, who played for Sporting Lisbon football club in Portugal and Barcelona football club, expressed confidence that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would eventually appoint the ideal coach for the Super Eagles top job.

He said that with a plethora of Nigerian talents scattered across the globe, a lot of professional capacity, technical expertise and consultation would be required to harness the talents, combine them and achieve the needed balance.

“The Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and their counterparts from Benin Republic would necessitate the appointment of a substantive coach who would also need some time to put the house in order for best results.

”I am not desperate to be Super Eagles coach, though I nurse the ambition to coach.

”If I have the opportunity to serve my fatherland, I will accept it and deliver my all,” he said.

He however, called for the development of football at the grassroots for further development of the Nigerian league for harnessing more talents.

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Super Falcons qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons has qualify  for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Falcons beat Bayana Bayana of South Africa 1-0 on aggregate in the two-legged encounter to seal qualification  for the first time in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions defeated their South African rivals 1-0 in the first leg at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Friday before settling for a goalless draw in the return leg on Tuesday.
The game  played at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria saw both sides attempt very few scoring chances, but it was Nigeria’s defence and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie who kept the hosts at bay.
Efforts by captain Thembi Kgatlana to open scoring for the hosts in the second half proved abortive as Nigeria’s wall stood tall to defend their lead on the day.
The result means Nigeria secure  the continent’s spot for the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is in Group C alongside World Cup champions Spain, Japan and Brazil in the Games billed for July 26 to Aug.11 in France.
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