Nigeria vs South Africa: 5 Lessons Learned As Super Falcons Pick Olympics Ticket

Nigeria vs South Africa: 5 Lessons Learned As Super Falcons Pick Olympics Ticket

Chukwu Ikechukwu
April 11, 2024 at 5:35 AM
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South Africa
South Africa
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South Africa(w)
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Women's Olympic Football Tournament
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CAF African Olympic (Preliminaries)
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  • The Super Falcons have qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris
  • Nigeria sealed qualification after a goalless draw against South Africa in Pretoria
  • The Super Falcons won 1-0 on aggregate after winning the first leg in Abuja

Nigeria’s Super Falcons are through to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after edging out hard fighting rivals South Africa in 180 minutes of exhilarating football.

Nigeria qualified for the women’s football event for the first time in 16 years after playing out a goalless draw against Banyana Banyana in front of their fans in Pretoria.

Super Falcons, Nigeria, South Africa, Olympics, Paris
Nigeria's Super Falcons have qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 16 years. Photo credit: Abiodun Deborah.
Source: Twitter

According to Complete Sports, Nigeria booked a spot in this year’s games thanks to Rashidat Ajibade’s penalty in the first leg as they held on for an aggregate 1-0 win against South Africa.

Coach of the team, Randy Waldrum, and Nigeria’s Sports minister, Senator John Owan Enoh, has saluted the Super Falcons for their enviable feat as they called for preparations for the games to kickstart.

Here, Sports Brief along with Soccernet, highlights the five key lessons learnt in the goalless draw against South Africa which confirmed Nigeria’s Olympic Games participation.

5 key things we learnt

1. The Super Falcons are a formidable unit

Every member of the Super Falcons team, from the goalkeeper to the defenders, midfielders and strikers, understands what is expected of them at any given time.

They press their opponents when necessary, attack with discipline, and defend as a team while working hard for one another.

2. Alozie needs a challenger at right-back

Michelle Alozie is one of the Super Falcons' most popular players. She excels at right full-back. However, she is used as an attacker for her club, the Houston Dash, which hampered her defensive duties in the two games against South Africa.

Alozie was caught out of position several times, did little to hinder the South African attackers from her flanks, mishandled basic passes, and performed averagely in both games versus Banyana Banyana.

3. Nnadozie is still Africa’s best goalkeeper

Chiamaka Nnadozie is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the world. And it is not exaggerated.

She made a few saves in Abuja to help Nigeria preserve a clean sheet, and she was the main reason South Africa failed to score against the Super Falcons in Pretoria.

Calm, composed, and forceful in the box, she rescued her team when South Africa broke through.

4. Okeke is as good as Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre's injury forced her to miss the two-game series against South Africa, which was disappointing for supporters.

It appeared that South Africa may exploit Nigeria's left-back wing. However, neither in Abuja nor Pretoria did the Banyana Banyana find it simple to get past Okeke.

She tackled hard, positioned herself well, backed the assault, and gave it her all in both games.

5. Nigeria can upset Group C

The Super Falcons have been placed in Group C for the 2024 Olympic Games, where they will face world champions Spain, Japan, and Brazil.

Anyone expecting Nigeria to be the whipping team in that group should tell Spain and the others that these Super Falcons girls are tenacious and brave and will most likely cause a major upset in the group like they did at the 2023 World Cup.

Ellis disappointed with Olympics failure

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Disiree Ellis says she is disappointed that South Africa not to have grabbed that elusive goal that could have turned their Olympics fortunes around.

Banyana Banyana were looking to progress to the Games by defeating Nigeria in Pretoria but could not breach the Super Falcons' defence.

Having won the first leg 1-0, the Super Falcons needed to only avoid a defeat in order to book their place in Paris, and that’s exactly what they did.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..