February 27, 2024

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

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


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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 a lot 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 halftime.

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

“I would have also preferred the match to be played at 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.

NAN also reports that 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 injuries, 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 them, and study them 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. (NAN)