Paris Olympics: Three Things to Note As Nigeria’s Super Falcons Seeks First Qualification Since 2008

Paris Olympics: Three Things to Note As Nigeria’s Super Falcons Seeks First Qualification Since 2008

Ero Samson
updated at February 27, 2024 at 9:45 PM
In this article:
Women's Olympic Football Tournament logo
Women's Olympic Football Tournament
Women's Olympic qualification Play-offs logo
Women's Olympic qualification Play-offs
Tanzania (w) logo
South Africa Women logo
South Africa(w)
South Africa
Nigeria Women logo
CAF African Olympic (Preliminaries) logo
CAF African Olympic (Preliminaries)
CAF U17 Championship logo
CAF U17 Championship
Asisat Oshoala logo
-FNigeria logo
Esther Okoronkwo logo
Changchun Dazhongzhuoyue (w) logoFNigeria logo
Michelle Alozie logo
-DNigeria logo
Deborah Ajibola Abiodun logo
-MNigeria logo
Jennifer Onyi Echegini logo
-MNigeria logo
  • Nigeria’s Super Falcons seek their first Olympic participation since the 2008 edition of the showpiece
  • Randy Waldrum’s team recently secured a victory that edges them closer to their goal against Cameroon
  • Sports Brief highlights three takeaways from the Super Falcons' win against the indomitable Lionesses

Nigeria advanced in their quest for a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics with a vital win over West African rivals, Cameroon.

The closely fought match, which determined a ticket to the final qualifying rounds for the Olympics, was settled by a first-half goal from forward, Esther Okoronkwo.

Coach Randy Waldrum, made several tough decisions, including choosing not to start current CAF Women’s Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala—a move that ultimately paid off.

Nigeria, Super Falcon, Cameroon, Olympics, CAF
Super Falcons players pose for a group photo during the second-leg Olympic qualifier between Nigeria and Cameroon. Image: Justina Aniefiok.
Source: Twitter

Although Nigeria controlled much of the game's tempo, the Indomitable Lionesses managed to create a few threatening chances.

The one-nil victory means the Super Falcons advance to the final qualification round for the Olympics, where they will face either South Africa or Tanzania.

However, amid the excitement surrounding the crucial win, Sports Brief highlights three key takeaways from the tense match.

Things to note as Nigeria defeats Cameroon

Bold Randy Waldrum

Following the Super Falcons' disappointing performance in the first leg against Cameroon, coach Randy Waldrum made two daring lineup changes. Jennifer Echegini and Esther Okoronkwo replaced Halimatu Ayinde and Asisat Oshoala, respectively.

Benching Oshoala was a bold and unexpected decision that surprised many Nigerian football enthusiasts, especially considering the stakes were at the highest on the night. However, this move proved crucial, as both Echegini and Okoronkwo played pivotal roles in scoring the opening goal.

Waldrum's decision showcased his ability to make bold choices in critical matches, regardless of the individuals involved.

Deborah Abiodun – a midfielder for the future

The 20-year-old continued her stellar form, which was on display at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Pittsburgh Panthers star dazzled in midfield, exhibiting impressive skill and poise on the ball.

She effortlessly controlled the game’s tempo, offering defensive solidity by thwarting numerous Cameroon attacks and ensuring Nigeria's stability. The youngster also contributed immensely to the attacking shape of the Super Falcons on the night.

Underperfoming Alozie

The Houston Dash forward endured a forgettable night against Cameroon. Her remarkable versatility, often switching between attacker and defender roles, seemed to backfire in this fixture.

Typically a dependable defender, Alozie failed to meet the lofty expectations many had of her. She struggled to cope with Cameroon's pace and skill, and her positioning was frequently questionable.

The coaching staff will need to engage in significant reflection and psychological work to help the 26-year-old rediscover her top form ahead of the match against either Banyana Banyana or Tanzania.

Nigeria Wins CAF Award

Sports Brief previously reported that the Super Falcons of Nigeria, clinched a prestigious CAF award, following their remarkable performance at the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Nigeria emerged victorious over four other nominees to secure the Women’s Team of the Year accolade at the CAF Awards ceremony held in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday night, December 11, 2023.

Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia were the other national teams contending for the award.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).