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2023 WWC: Waldrum Proud Of Super Falcons Performance Against Semi-finalists England, Australia

2023 WWC: Waldrum Proud Of Super Falcons Performance Against Semi-finalists England, Australia

Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum has said he is proud of how his the Super Falcons fared against England and Australia, semi-finalists at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup.

The Three Lionesses of England defeated the Matildas of Australia 3-1 on Wednesday, August 16 to qualify for the final.

The Super Falcons faced both Australia and the Three Lionesses at this year’s tournament.

In their second group game against Australia, the nine-time African champions shocked the co-hosts 3-2.

Then in the round of 16 England, who had scored in all their three group games, fired blanks and had to advance after a 4-2 penalty shootout win.

Reacting after the semi-final clash between Australia and England, Waldrum talked up his team’s impressive performance against the football heavyweights.

“Proud moment watching this England –Australia semi-final! We beat Australia and tied England with the Super Falcons! What a tournament we had!,” the American wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, England and Spain will square off on Sunday in a first-ever appearance in the final for both teams.

By Toju Sote

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  • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

    If only we had the type of attacking verve South Africa had….!

    • Papafem 10 months ago

      You Sabi, Dr Drey. All we needed was the attacking midfield of SOUTH AFRICA, then the WC would have been in our pockets.

      • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

        Which African midfield was better than Ayinde, Ucheibe and Payne?? As good as South Africa was they were incredibly exposed at the back. Our attacking play wasn’t bad we just lack the required composure. It’s not as if we didn’t have the chances. 

        • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

          AYP, truth be told we never created enough lear cut chances at this World Cup.
          The 3 goals we managed to score were what you would call circumstantial goals.

          Conversely, the SA’s were slicing defenses open like hot knife through butter. Defense and Goalkeeping was their undoing. If they had our defence they could have advanced beyond the R16.

          • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

            Brother man. We had at least 3 presentable chances against Canada. We scored from a corner against Australia to me that’s not circumstantial. Osoala’s goal against Australia was almost the same as the chance she had against Canada. In the Ireland game we had at 3 clear cut chances to score, but we lack the composure. Assisat should’ve buried that through pass from Kanu that fell on a platter of gold.

            Well things like that happens, any top player can miss a glorious chance. If SA had our defense they would still struggle because they don’t have the size upfront. They mostly play on the counter too as you can see from most of their goals. It’s not any midfield combination play like Payne did against Australia to set up Ajibade for the equalizer that fell to Kanu. Or the Mikelesque and Oliseh Naa Simi from Payne to Osoala that sealed our passage to the Round of 16??

            I think we created enough chances to beat England it wasn’t just our night. We hit the post a few times, force their goalkeeper to make important saves and also missed a one on one with the keeper in Extra time. We didn’t even lose the game but decided on penalties. If we had the kind of chances SA had against Holland we will definitely push them all the way. 

        • Dr Drey, I think we did create clearcut chances throughout the tournament.

          Finishing was our undoing.

          Against Ireland, Oshoala had 2 crystal clearcut chances created but she failed to score.

          Against Canada, some driven passes almost located Onumonu. In fact, Onumonu had the best chance of the match with her long range shot.

          Against England, very many crosses were delivered into the 18 yard box. Plumptre had an effort hit the bar whilst Agba baller had 1 effort on goal and 2 bicycle kick attempts.

          We did carve out plentiful chances Dr Drey. We just didn’t have the finishers.

          • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

            Deo, in all honesty, those were all at best, half chances.

            The only clear cut chances we created with clear intent was when Kanu put Assisat clean through on goal and Payne’s floated cross to Kanu which the latter didn’t do well to bury.

            Otherwise I can’t recall any other time we worked the ball into the opponents box that resulted in us drawing a save and shooting narrowly wide.

            Crossing hopeful balls into the box to me doesn’t make for clear cut chances.

            Reason why per FIFA’s records, we scored 3 goals in the tournament but had Zero assists.

            Defensively, we probably were amongst the best at this World Cup. But we just couldn’t ruffle feathers going forward

          • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

            …or shooting narrowly wide….

    • Brother Man Dr Drey,

      In fairness, what you described as half chances were actually the deliberate strategy of Waldrum. Under him, Nigeria has never played like South Africa (with intricate interplay of passes designed to disrupt and dissect defenses). No.

      Waldrum plays long balls, crosses, driven passes across a wide space and route one. Nigeria has never and will never play like South Africa under Waldrum. We work the ball to midfield where Ngozi Okobi will play a through pass to Onumonu. None of all that 1-2 intricate multilayered passing routines, tiki taka football.

      We work the ball on player at a time to get in range to cross or shoot, simple.

      Those were not half chances. That is how Waldrum creates his chances.

      • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

        In that case, we should forget about winning anything (not even WAFU cup) with Wladrum in charge….unless he gets an attacking assistant to help him with that phase of our play.

        With such nondiscript one dimensional way of creating attacking moves, We are just another Halimatu Ayinde on the opposing side away from being knocked out of any tournament in the knockout stages.

        No team gets to the medal zone of any tournament (not even a 4 nation tournament) without dynamism in the way it attacks. You can survive a whole tournament with a 1D defensive profile…but with attacking, you’ve just gotta be as multidemsional as possible.

  • Godstime 10 months ago

    The coach lacked selection tactics. He could have won this year’s world cup edition. His changes and no-interference field management led to SF’s inability to score goals at the expense of the opponent’s weakness. We have the best team in this tournament. Well, God bless Nigeria.

    • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

      Which WorldCup edition are you winning Lmao!! Or you mean Table Soccer WorldCup?? You will win WorldCup with this FA?? I’m sure you’re kidding. 

  • William the conqueror 10 months ago

    England were there for the taking if only this college football coach got a clue. Well we live to play another day. Up super falcons.

    • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

      Even Guardiola will not beat this England team the way they’ve set up. England have scored against every opposition in their last 20 games except the SuperFalcons. The best thing we could do is push them to penalties which we did. The coach will not come to field and put the ball on the net. We hit the post twice and we missed a glaring chance with Alozie shooting wide when through on goal. This was the best I’ve ever seen a Nigerian team play on the global stage since the SuperEagles in 1994.

      We had absolutely no chance making it out of that group with the shambles of preparation we had yet this team with this coach came out unbeaten. The only African team that ever came out of a WorldCup unbeaten Male or Female was Cameroon in 1982 and they didn’t make it out of the group stage. 

  • Me I think switching a left back, left footed Ashley Plumtre to the right and right footed, right back Michelle Alozie to the left during extra time was in error but maybe I didn’t see what the coach saw.
    Michelle had a clear chance to score during extra time but her shot was weak because she is not a natural left footer.
    Also we were good in the defense but not so good in the attack. It showed in the WAFCON and also showed in this competition.
    All in all, it was a good outing for the Super Falcons and I hope coach Waldrum had learnt a few lessons.
    Please he should continue with the Super Falcons till the Olympic qualifiers for continuity.

  • Top man Waldrum. We remain grateful for giving us a SF to be proud of. And a big congratulations to THE ENGLISH FA for always top notch in football administration, I see that everyday and I am not surprised with recent success of English teams. They truly deserve these moments of success and it would have been very unfair to beat them to that quarter final ticket.

    • Wouldn’t have been unfair in my opinion because we outplayed them. They were just lucky to win on penalties cos we were awful. 

    • 9jaRealist 10 months ago

      Abegi which England FA? The same one that is still rowing with the players over whether any additional bonuses would be paid to the players other than FIFA’s payments?

      While we understandably rag on the inept NFF, reality is that several other participating nations in this WWC had similar issues to Nigeria’s – including Canada (pay dispute), Spain (player revolt), France (player revolt), South Africa (pay), Zambia (pay), etc. Nonetheless, if we can get a competent NFF, we will probably do much better on-field.

      • @njarealist, your submission here only confirms you are struggling to see competency of FAs beyond FIFA financial largresse. Questions you should ask yourself are,
        1)Did the ENGLISH FA provide a workable environment for the coaches?
        2)Did The ENGLISH FA, try to force any player on the coaches talk less of low quality ones?
        3)Did THE ENGLISH FA, threatened/bullied the coaches? even going as far as removing assistants to foolishly punish their gaffer? Etc.
        Honestly speaking, The ENGLISH FA will be supported to keep that FIFA MONEY because you will always trust them to use the money for the general football development and also because the female team got almost everything they needed and there was wasn’t any selfish interfence from clogged brains like we have amongst our own NFF.
        I am not particular about money to the girls but all about doing the right thing ; such as good pitches, free hand for coaches to do their job, general good welfare. If NFF can provide these, I won’t be a wailer for the girls over money being paid to them and I am sure these players will be happy too.

    • Ignatius Abo 10 months ago

      Thumbs up brotherman Glory, you said it all.

  • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

    England were better than us unless we want to be economical with the truth. The good thing was that we matched them both tactically and physically. If Plumptre shot had gone in we would’ve won that game. I think they had a bit of fortune ahead of us, but they were better even with ten women. Our lack of composure in the final third cost us dearly. It was the reason we didn’t win the group and also couldn’t put England away in the knockout stage. 

    The coach understands our players that’s why he deployed an all out defense and all out attack. However, it was visible to the blind and audible to deaf that we lack that killer instinct in the final third. Assisat wasn’t fully fit all through the tournament and her supporting cast weren’t as dangerous including Kanu who had a fluke goal. I can’t blame anybody because the team only had a two weeks training camp before the tournament. 

    My only issue now is that we a terrible country at managing success. It will be fascinating to see how we improve on this success, but alas this is Nigeria we lack the modus operandi to sustain this kind of progress. Gbese, Ọtẹ, Inunibini, greediness and all sorts of conspiracies will never allow the progress. 

    • 9jaRealist 10 months ago

      Which game were you watching. The Falcons were the BETTER team over the 120+ mins. England were only better at penalties.

      Overall, Randy Waldrum had a stellar WC because most of us feared the worse going in, but ultimately against 10-player England he unfortunately reverted back to his usual conservative (to put it diplomatically) self and threw away a gilt-edge opportunity to really lay down a marker in world female football.

      In our only victory (which not coincidentally was also the only game in which we managed to score at this WC) versus Australia, Randy Waldrum made seemingly all of the right substitution and personnel choices, but sadly against England he made some baffling (and ultimately non-fruitful) choices – pulling Kanu for Ordega, switching RB Alozie to left winger, subbing off Payne who was the only player we had resembling a “creative” midfielder and who had been running at the tiring England defense.

      But the worst was yet to come, with Lauren James red-card and the SFs now playing against 10 tiring and tired opponents, we often would have players free all over midfield but instead of building up attacks through the midfield or wings, Randy’s charges rather repeatedly bypass those free players in the middle of the park for the Waldrum Staple – the long-ball for Oshoala (surrounded by 3/4 defenders) to chase, the same ineffectual tactic he deployed at WAFCON (first with Oshoala and subsequently with Omunomu) and in the later run of losing friendlies.

      Nonetheless, left to me, I believe that Randy Waldrum has shown enough to earn an extension and to allow him to continue to build on his program with the Super Falcons (but perhaps he may need to add an attack-minded assistant).

      Anyway, Waldrum has done enough to win me over…
      For the first time in a while, dating back to the coming of Tom Dennerby, the Falcons actually looked like a cohesive TEAM!

      • Ayphillydegreat 10 months ago

        I’m glad you agree that the team looks like a cohesive unit for the first time in a long while. For me this is the best assembled Nigerian team Male or Female at the highest level since the SuperEagles in 1994. 

        I agree that we were better than England on that night but just unlucky. You see sometimes a bit of luck is needed in those circumstances and England had that fortune. Even at that it was still decided on penalties. I will say they were more experienced than us. They went through the same adversity during the Euros and they won it.

        They’ve reached the Semis of the last two Female WorldCups if I’m not mistaken. Therefore, they’re the better side we just happen to play better than them on the night and with a player down, they deserve their progress. It’s a testament to where we’ve come at this level, but I’m afraid we lack the dexterity to manage success. 

    • Well, if this punch article is anything to go by, we will only excel in football by sheer luck or determination of our playing personnel. Glass house has demons

      Google: How Sanusi sidelined Falcons from presidential reception – NFF source

      • The way we nigerian see money as everything is so so DISGUSTING to say the least. This woman scientist Bell Burnell that donated all the prize money £2.3M she won is HUMAN.

  • Ikeben 10 months ago

    Truly Nigeria had a squad that had the ability to get to the final or Semi Final at least. I put our early exit purely on the doorstep of NFF. Can you imagine this our worst preparation for a World cup yet we were unbeaten and overcame Australia and could not be beaten by England, the likely winner of the competition.
    So just imagine if we had our usual preparation of a better camping with more high profile friendlies we would at least gotten to the Final.

    Our Goalkeeper was superb, our defence superb our midfield superb. But our only deficiency was the attack. And not because of lack of good talents but the coach had not tested them enough in good friendly matches to know the capacity of his oplayers. This made him rely mainly on Oshola and Onumonu and Kanu. I^m taking anything away from them but the coach had other players that could have gotten the job done but he couldn’t trust them and I don’t blame him because he did prepare enough.
    The likes of Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday, Desire Opanozie, Esther Okronkwo, Ifeoma Onumonu and Azizat Oshola had enough fire power to score any team but they needed to blend together and the coach needed to trust them. But for that to happen they needed time to camp and prepare well with good friendly matches but NFF could not do this. Obviously they did not believe in the coach. This led to the fight between NFF and Waldrum.

    But the players now decided to forget about their issues with NFF instead of protest they decided to do the opposite. Which was to do their best eeven when they were terribly treated. What an Irony.

    They saw NFF was planning for them to fail but they together with their coach decided to do the opposite. You can now imagine what would have happened if NFF did well.

    Even at that they still had what it takes to go further but the God of soccer will not want NFF to reap where they did not sow, so he had to contsrain Super Falcons so NFF will lean their lessons that if they are willing.

    • Don’t let NFF hear you oh lol. NFF has a trending article on how they prepared super falcons with 29 matches in 29 months prior to the world cup. It was released on the eve of the england match. It conveniently began in Feb 2021 with our current coach, I presume.

      The matches below show how the falcons are progressing:

      18/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 1-0 CSKA Moscow Women

      20/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 1-0 Uzbekistan

      23/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 9-0 Equatorial Guinea

      10/06/21 – USA: Jamaica 1-0 Nigeria

      14/06/21 – USA: Portugal 3-3 Nigeria

      17/06/21 – USA: USA 2-0 Nigeria

      15/09/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-0 Mali

      21/09/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-4 South Africa

      20/10/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-0 Ghana

      24/10/21 – Accra: Ghana 1-0 Nigeria

      18/02/22 – Abuja: Nigeria 2-0 Cote d’Ivoire

      23/02/22 – Abuja: Cote d’Ivoire 0-1 Nigeria

      09/04/22 – Canada: Canada 2-0 Nigeria

      12/04/22 – Canada: Canada 2-2 Nigeria

      04/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 1-2 South Africa

      07/07/22 – Morocco: Botswana 0-2 Nigeria

      10/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 4-0 Burundi

      14/07/22 – Morocco: Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria

      18/07/22 – Morocco: Morocco 1-1 Nigeria (Morocco win on penalties)

      22/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 0-1 Zambia

      03/09/22 – USA: USA 4-0 Nigeria

      06/09/22 – USA: USA 2-1 Nigeria

      06/10/22 – Japan: Japan 2-0 Nigeria

      15/02/23 – Mexico: Mexico 1-0 Nigeria

      18/02/23 – Mexico: Colombia 1-0 Nigeria

      22/02/23 – Mexico: Nigeria 1-0 Costa Rica

      07/04/23 – Turkey: Nigeria 2-1 Haiti

      11/04/23 – Turkey: New Zealand 0-3 Nigeria

      15/07/23 – Australia: Nigeria 8-1 Lions FC

      If you add the undefeated nature in the world cup and 4 matches with opponents far ranked higher than us, we can hope NFF don’t retard the dynamic transformation of the team

  • England packed the bus after the red-card and were waiting for us to come out fully, so as to punish us. For me, we were simply unlucky. Lucky is part of the game because if the three shots that hit the bar had gone in, it would have been a different story.

    Now, we just have to invite more talented foreign based players from England and the United States and concentrate on qualifiying to the Olympics. We would be back.

  • I have re-watched the England Vs Nigeria match several times and I can’t help laughing.

    You see, it wasn’t about the players. That match was 100% played between Waldrum and Wiegman.

    After the red card, Wiegman reverted to 4-4-1 thereby retaining their defensive solidity whilst sacrificing 1 centre forward.

    Waldrum added 1 extra player in attack and whilst introducing Ordega to play as a sort of winger-full back hybrid – to float between defence and attack.

    Now, this is where Conny man die, Conny woman bury am resumed between Wiegman and Waldrum.

    Waldrum gave the “illusion” that Nigeria would be the aggressors and attack all out whilst Wiegman responded by also giving up the illusion that they will counter Nigeria on the break.

    Yeah right!

    When we, Nigeria, were on the attack, Payne would win the ball in midfield, play in to Oshoala who would square it to Ajibade. Now this is where it gets interesting.

    With Ajibade on the flank, Aggressors Nigeria will only have 3 more players in attacking positions: Oshoala, Alozie and Payne or Ordega.

    England will have their back of 4 defenders with 3 midfields deeper in positions in from of their defenders. So, you have 7 England players in defensive duties against 3, or at most 4 Nigeria players in attack (we are meant to be the “aggressors).

    The result, Payne or Ajibade crosses, England defenders scramble to clear up pitch (where 6 or 7 Nigerians are waiting against 1 or 2 England players up front). It’s a no-brainer, Ucheibe who is pressing wins the ball, plays is back to Oshoala who feeds Payne as she runs to the flank. Payne easily uses leg over to beat her marker and we are again where we started.

    Payne crosses to Oshoala who has 3 England defenders to contend with. In front of them are 4 England wingers coming help. In all,7 England bodies in defence against just 3 to for Nigerian bodies in attack.

    Even if England wins the ball, they are way too overcommitted in defence to launch a quick counter attack where Ucheibe, Ayinde, Plumptre, Demehin and Ohale (5 Nigerian players) not to mention Ordega are waiting.

    So, England try to build gingerly and slowly. They eventually lose possession, the start flooding back but Nigeria doesn’t flood forward. No, we march forward with “safe numbers”. 3 at most 4 Nigerian players (Oshoala, Ajibade, Alozie, Payne/Echiegini) against 7 England bodies.

    Na wa for Waldrum and Wiegman o!

    Wiegman won. She contained Nigeria long enough for the game to go to penalties where Nigeria failed at the Afcon last year against Morocco but England succeeded Germany.

    Weigman called Waldrum’s bluff: Over-commit in attack if you dare! Waldrum refused to take the bait. He attacked with safe numbers whilst giving the illusion that Alozie would add to the numbers up front. It was a lie. Despite Alozie moving to the front, Nigeria never overloaded England in attack. We still moved in safe numbers.

    Waldrum knew that if we over committed, England would notice and try to capitalise despite being 1 woman down. So Waldrum played it very safe.

    To Nigeria’s credit, we carved out a hell of number of a number of scoring chances. Our wingers were truly exceptional. Time and again,they dribbled the English fullbacks, drilled out a space to deliver crosses. Even Oshoala delivered one glorious cross after storming past her marker with lightning speed before crosses.

    2 things: 1) we didn’t have enough bodies in the box to capitalize on those crosses and 2) England were just to good in plugging the gaps and choking their box 18.

    Sadly for Waldrum, Wiegman’s approach and personnel available to her allowed her to triumph on the night.

  • Apologies for the errors, I was typing way too fast.

    Anyway, kudos to all the ladies who played or drifted to the flanks for Nigeria against England. Kanu, Oshoala, Payne, Ajibade all delivered delightful crosses which on another day would have been game changers.

    But England were resolute. It was going to take more than routine crosses into the 18 yard box to beat them.

    Waldrum was not willing to gamble Demehin popping into the box surreptitiously or even Ucheibe drifting into dangerous areas; Nigerian defence was not to be compromised in anyway, even in pursuit of a goal.

    As mentioned, we only attacked in very safe numbers, mindful of the threat England posed in counterattack despite being a player down.

    I can’t blame Waldrum. For me, England are the best team in the world right now. To overcommit against them would be unwise.

    Waldrum did the best he could. His strategy kept England under pressure. He restricted their counterattacking capabilities. He frustrated their best player into committing a red card offense whilst all the while making England dance to our rythm.

    We dominated England and dictated play.

    But the better teams always find a way. Wiegman did enough to keep Nigeria at bay long enough to go into penalties. They found answers to all of the questions we asked of them and were flexible enough to adapt quickly to whatever dimension of threat we posed.

    It was a masterclass from Wiegman. Nigeria played better but England were no doubt the better team!

    • Kudos, doe. This is incisive. I agree, it was a game of tactics by the 2 top coaches. But England the best team in the world? Maybe they’re good, but me thinks they’ve had some whiff of luck helping to roll their golf ball into the hole. It deserted us with the goalpost standing coming to their aid 3 whole times (that English luck I spoke about), asides Alozie’s glaring miss. Interestingly, no team has made them huff and puff like the SF, until they stole the win from under our noses at the 11th hour. I’ll SO LOUDLY be rooting for Spain on Sunday.

      • Kel my brother, England came from behind to defeat Spain in last year’s Euros. That Spanish side was more formidable; this one is depleted and riddled with internal issues. It is a miracle Spain made it this far.

        I watched England v Spain live last year on telly. Just like Nigeria, Spain threw everything including the Spanish kitchen sink at England but Wiegman found a way.

        That lady is the Pep Guardiola of women’s football and England are the Manchester City of international women’s football.

        You don’t have to agree with me; England has only lost 1 game since Wiegman took over in 2021. They were semifinalists in the last world cup, current European champions and now finalists in this tournament.

        What does it take to be the best team in the world?

        I would have preferred a stronger Spainish side against England as I fear a slightly one sided encounter of the Spanish fail to keep it tight at the back.

        I am so proud of England. This is what you get when you invest in women’s football from grassroots to the highest division. They thoroughly deserve to win this tournament.

        If not for internal turmoil, Spain too deserve where they are. Being current under 17 and under 20 champions is testament to how admirably well they have invested in their women’s football.

        Imagine, Spain could end up as the Under 17, Under 20 and World Champions or England as reigning world and European champions.

        It is a worthy final to watch.

        • Got your point. It’s mostly the sentimental part of me speaking. Not sure why I always support any English opponent, maybe it’s cos of that notorious talent poacher in charge of their men’s team, Northgate (and then forming superman coach, when we all know his only joker). And not sure a loss by a Nigerian team at the international level has pained me more than that England steal. We are supposed to be in the final. We were supposed to break their unbeaten run. But Spain too is loaded already. Why did Australia capitulate when it mattered most? I wish it was Japan in the final against England cos I’ll be relaxed. The US too aren’t happy England got to the final.

        • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

          You’ve got to give it to that Woman Sarina Wiegman. Another testament to the proficiency of Dutch coaches.

          Euro champion with the Netherlands in 2017

          World cup finalist with the Netherlands in 2019 (By the way, Netherlands had not matched such heights since she left)

          Euro champion with England in 2021

          WWC potential winner with England in 2023.

          Potential Super Eagles Coach….???

    • zuka chris 10 months ago

      Deo, how do you break down a match of that intence and make your die hard followers like me continue to die hard in following you.

      Abi you dey use Artificial Intelligence (ai).

      I wonder between you and Dr. Drey who is more analytical. Breaking down everything like na only una get the formular.

      Good Job.

  • You’re right. Absolutely right.

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