Super Falcons boss Waldrum mocks talkative South Africa, targets top prep for Spain, Brazil, Japan

Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has directed cheap shots at South Africa after leading Nigeria past the Banyana Banyana on Tuesday, reports.

Nigeria forced South Africa to a goalless draw in Pretoria on Tuesday to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games with a 1-0 aggregate win. The Super Falcons had, last Friday in the first leg, defeated the Banyana Banyana 1-0 in Abuja.

It is a big blow to South Africa as the reigning African champions will not be at the Olympics, having also missed the 2020 edition.

Coach Desiree Ellis and her charges were confident of overcoming Nigeria, having beaten the Super Falcons in three of their four most recent meetings.

Waldrum insists that despite not making a fuse about it like the Banyana, he knew he had a better squad than the free-talking South Africans.

“We were much more organised than the previous times we played them,” Waldrum said.

“South Africa talked a lot before these two matches; we just kept quiet.

“That’s why I felt confident. I believe in our team and I knew we would be a hard team to break down even with their talent.

“The thing we would then hope is that you finish off one or two of your opportunities to advance, and that is what we did.”

Again, Waldrum praised the Super Falcons’ defensive solidity, a quality the team improved significantly on at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The American tactician said, “First, the teams’ roosters were different; the other thing is that we prepared 10-12 days before the World Cup, and we put a high priority on our defensive organisation.

“Since we performed at the World Cup, the players have brought into what I want them to do defensively.

“The team did everything we asked of them to get the result.

“We knew South Africa would come at us. We respect them, but this was our seventh or eighth clean sheet; we have been very good defensively.

“With time and some proper work, we will also be better on the offensive side, which everyone is asking for.”

With qualification guaranteed, Nigeria will start their campaign at the Olympics in the proverbial Group of Death.

The Super Falcons will slot it out in Group B alongside world champions Spain, South American giants Brazil, and Asian queens Japan.

Waldrum fears none of these teams, but he calls on the Sports Ministry and the Nigeria Football Federation to arrange top preparations for the Falcons weeks before the Olympics.

“My plea is to help us to prepare properly; we need to camp in Europe, we need proper training, proper transportation, we need to do things right,” the Pittsburg Panthers coach urged.

“Every team at the Olympics is top, like the World Cup, we’re in the ‘Group of Death’.”

The Super Falcons have never made it past the group stages at the Olympics.

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