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2023 WWC: Ireland Crash Out After Loss To Canada

2023 WWC: Ireland Crash Out After Loss To Canada

Canada gave their hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 a big boost after coming from a goal down to beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in Group B on Wednesday.

It is Canada’s first win of the tournament after they were held to a goalless draw by Nigeria’s Super Falcons in their first game.

In their Group B game Ireland lost 1-0 to co-hosts Australia.

The defeat means Ireland have crashed out of the tournament with one game left to play.

Katie McCabe gave Ireland the lead just four minutes into the game but Canada equalised following an own goal by Megan Connolly five minutes added time in the first half.

In the 53rd minute Canada went 2-1 ahead thanks Adriana Leon.

Australia will take on the Super Falcons in Thursday and could seal qualification into the knockout stage with a win.

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  • For me, this is the worst possible outcome.

    I had hoped for an Ireland upset at best or score draw at worst.

    Football Universe has a way of achieving equilibrium. Canada and Australia are naturally expected to make it out of this group and this result has just helped swing the pendulum in that direction.

    We now need to win Australia (a tall ask despite the braggadocios statements in some quarters) or at least secure a draw which still leaves much work to do against Ireland.

    Ireland will want to go out with a bang so that their adoring fans can have something to cheer about. So the Super Falcons can expect war despite the fact that Ireland have crashed out.

    I don’t mean to sound gloomy. Rather just to say that the margins for error have become narrower and the game against Australia is now do or die.

    Individually, our girls more than match Australia. As a unit, it’s a totally different story. The Australians are simply more dynamic with the ball and employ more Avant Garde methods of football in their movements and incursions into enemy territory.

    Nigeria’s brand of play is traditional, old fashioned and conversational. It is not intricate, complex or overly imaginative.

    It just relies on doing the rudiments right on the ball – pass, move, position and strike. Its strength is cast iron organisation when without the ball and a form of compactness with it . In possession, our attacking routine is practical and functional. It doesn’t particularly make us inferior to Australia or any other team if we remain businesslike and competent in the execution of our routines.

    It just means Nigeria has less tricks up our sleeves compared to say Spain or England. But if we play as a team and execute our maneuvers with focus and concentration, we can do a lot of harm before returning to our shell when out of possession.

    The key is teamwork.

    Good luck to Nigeria. It only gets harder from here.

    • Papafem 11 months ago

      You wrote this piece like a literary critic. The language employed shows you are either a literature in English student, a literary enthusiast or an English Literature lecturer. But Sir, Siper Falcons aren’t that dab. What’s lacking is cohesion and useful Tactical input. The Canadian team we played wasn’t that bad at all and with that defensive solidity we could have easily won if we had taken the chances we had. All we need is a win against the Aussies. A draw isn’t bad either if we can go all-out to beat Rep of Ireland in the final match. I’m still quite optimistic. We can do it.

    • Papafem,

      Thanks for your feedback. I don’t see the Super Falcons inferior to any team in this tournament. That said, I think some other teams like Spain, England, USA and even Canada are more dynamic in their offensive movements.

      Now, this is where it gets tricky. With Nnadozie, Ucheibe and Ordega particularly (and mother luck) , it is my firm belief that we can withstand and repel onslaughts from any team in this tournament.

      But when it comes to attacking routines, I don’t think the chemistry, understanding or technique is there for us to decimate defences in several unpredictable ways.

      Our routines are longstanding, formulaic and traditional. Crosses, long balls and driven passes with competent connections. You could argue that teams like England and Australia do the same. But, in my view, they have methods of creating openings, drawing defenders out of position and crafting openings that can be simply jaw dropping. But, as mentioned, I think our movements without the ball, quality of our goalkeeper and defensive acumen always have the potential of helping us ‘stick to landing’

      I believe you recall Nigeria v Argentina in the 2010 World Cup. Despite the myriad of ways that Messi’s Argentina carved us open, Enyeama and the defensive apparatus left the scoreline respectable. So even if the Super Falcons get beaten by more technically grounded sides in this tournament, I expect it to be a nail biting encounter if the Ucheibes and Nnadozies bring their A game to the table.

      Simply put, technically, we are not as good as some of the big hitters in this tournament. Practically though, we can go toe to toe with any team.

      • Papafem 11 months ago

        I get your point now, but aren’t Waldrum and his crew members seeing what we see? I was beginning to like the inputs of Thomas Dennerby back then, but politics again, pushed him out. I’m yet to see any new thing coach Waldrum has brought into the team, just the girls doing their things.

  • Nigeria will win Australia. I’m very sure of it. The whole world of football would be surprised. Let’s wait and see.

  • Edoman 11 months ago

    Yes, we can.

  • Papafem,

    Waldrum qualified Nigeria for the world cup via the most difficult route compared to any other Super Falcons coach in history (arguably).

    It doesn’t get harder than qualifying for the world cup by defeating Ivory Coast, Ghana (GHANA) and Cameroon. Please, go back and watch those five games to see what Waldrum brought to the table. These include:

    1) introduction of fresh legs who made immediate impact like Onumonu, Okoronkwo, Plumptre and Alozie.

    2) Borrowing heavily from 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations and injecting his own twist to overcome these formidable foes.

    3) Heavy use of overlapping fullbacks in offensive efforts.

    4) Blending dual nationality and indigenous players for the first time in the history of the Super Falcons in a manner that supports team cohesion and achievement of core objectives (to qualify for the World Cup)

    5) Invoking the Nigerian spirit of exemplary organisation without the ball in a manner that keeps scorelines respectable (for the most parts) against formidable foes.

    6) Bringing out the best in players like Ucheibe, Abiodun, Ajibade and Nnadozie (and Ifeoma Onumonu) with exemplary man management skills .

    7) Laying a solid foundation for the future of the Super Falcons by introducing the following players into the team (although some of these didn’t make the world cup roster): Sebastian, Onyenezide, Abiodun, Nicole Payne, Rofiat Imruan, Demehin, Rita Akerekor, Anam Imo, Suliyat Abideen.

    8) Retraining Nigeria’s reputation of always qualifying for the Women’s World Cup.

    9) Retaining Nigeria’s reputation of never failing to reach the semi finals of the Women’s Afcon.

    10) Last by no means least, achieving core targets and building Nigeria a team for the future despite not being paid for many months and having to work under squalid conditions.

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