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Falcons Among World’s Best Teams – Waldrum



Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum believes the 11-time African champions should rank among the best countries in women’s football, following their performance at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Nigeria were knocked out of the competition 4-2 on penalties by England in the round of 16 on Monday after regulation and extra time ended goalless.

The Falcons were also the least ranked team in their group and qualified at the expense of Olympic champions Canada, who are currently ranked seventh in the world. They beat co-hosts Australia, who are 10th 3-2, before being forced to a goalless draw by No. 22 placed Ireland in their last group game. England, who beat the Falcons in the last 16, are the fourth ranked team in the world.

Despite being eliminated, Waldrum, who has constantly hailed his players character, was left impressed by his team, who are currently ranked 40th in the world, for defying the odds at the tournament.

“We can be and should be probably one of the top teams in the world by going from 40 on the FIFA rankings to a better number. I think we have also shown we are capable of playing against anybody. What you saw was England having a little more experience in playing these kinds of matches, being able to play with a man down and managing the game. Maybe that’s where we fell short,” Waldrum said after the game.

The American coach also saluted his England counterpart, Sarina Wiegman, noting that the Falcons only needed luck to advance to the quarter-final.

“Hats off to Sarina and her team, I don’t know what they thought we would do but we anticipated that they thought we would sit back like we did in the first two or three matches, and we really pressed them well, Halimatu (Ayinde) was fantastic against (Lauren) James. I don’t think we allowed them to get into the rhythm.

“The tactics was spot on, the performance was good, with a little bit of luck, we would have walked away with the result in our advantage,” he
added. Punch

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