The Super Falcons of Nigeria against the odds defeated the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co host Australia 3-2 earlier today but how did those who earned Nigeria the three points fare?
Here is how they fared individually….
Chiamaka Nnadozie : Despite conceding two goals in the game, the FC Paris goalkeeper commanded her area quite well especially when she had to do so during corner kicks. Rating : 7/10
Michelle Alozie : The Houston Dash full back was at times too eager to get the ball from her opponents. In one of such cases, she ended up with the game’s first yellow card. Despite that, she had a decent game overall. Rating : 6/10
Osinachi Ohale : Aside grabbing the Super Falcons’ second goal, the Centre back did well at the heart of the defense line. She held her own when called to do so as well. Rating : 6/10.
Oluwatosin Demehin : She was a bit shaky under pressure in the early stages of the encounter but she later grew in confidence, doing her bit when called upon and like Ohale, she held her own for the rest of the encounter. Rating : 6/10
Ashleigh Plumptre : The former Leicester City defender was perhaps the best defender on the day. Aside doing her job as the team’s left full back so well, she did decently going forward at times to help out. Rating : 7/10
Halimatu Ayinde : Returned to the starting eleven following her suspension for the first game against Canada and did a good job as one of the team’s pivot. That the Australians didn’t have it their way at times was largely due Ayinde’s alertness at key moments. Rating : 7/10
Christy Ucheibe : Like Halimatu Ayinde, she did well as the team’s other pivot. Worked hard covering up to help the back four. Rating : 7/10
Toni Payne : The Sevilla of Spain midfielder tried to be pro-active with the ball going forward. Also did her bit in helping the team keep their defensive set up when the Aussie attacked with purpose. She had a decent game as well. Rating : 7/10.
Uchenna Kanu : Operating from the left side of the team’s attack, Kanu at times didn’t know what to do with the ball. She also lost possession a few times to the opponent in the first half. However, redeemed herself by popping up at the right spot to score the team’s first goal. Rating : 6/10
Rasheedat Ajibade:The Atletico Madrid ‘s attacking midfielder was perhaps Nigeria’s best player on the pitch. Her work rate both in defensive positions and in attacking positions was second to none. Very assured on the ball as well. Rating : 8/10
Ifeoma Onumonu‘ : Aside helping the team keep their defensive shape off the ball, she did little as per being progressive upfront. Had a quiet game up until she was substituted. Rating : 5/10
Assisat Oshoala : Came off the bench [ to replace Uchenna Kanu ] in the 63rd minute to great effect. Soon after she extended Nigeria’s lead with a very tidy finish, swiftly taking advantage of a defensive mix up at the back for the Matildas. Rating: 7/10
The Likes of Esther Okoronkwo, Onyi Echegini, Glory Ogbonna and Onome Ebi who all came in for Ifeoma Onumonu , Halimatu Ayinde, Ashleigh Plumptre and Toni Payne respectively, did their bit to try and help the team preserve their lead and see the game through but they did nothing of real note to merit any rating.
Team’s Overall Assessment : One significant thing about Randy Waldrum’s Super Falcons is that they work very hard without the ball. They also possess a genuine threat going forward, using their pace to great effect. They are indeed an unpredictable outfit, a quality that makes them dangerous.