4 things we learnt as Super Falcons draw Banyana Banyana to book Olympic spot

4 things we learnt as Super Falcons draw Banyana Banyana to book Olympic spot
Credit: @Banyana_Banyana X

Nigeria's Super Falcons have booked their place in the 2024 Olympic Football Tournament after a tense goalless draw against South Africa in the second leg of their Olympic play-off on Tuesday night.

Nigeria prevailed 1-0 on aggregate against Banyana Banyana in a high-octane clash that offered many lessons.

The 0-0 draw after regulation time provided drama and apprehension through missed chances, few clear-cut chances and a late South African surge for a goal.

As the Super Falcons sealed a return to the Olympics after a 16 years absence, GOALBALL has outlined several key lessons that emerged from the enthralling encounter.

Four things we learnt as Super Falcons edge Banyana Banyana to book Olympic spot

1. Super Falcons unbeaten streak in South Africa continues

The Super Falcons first beat Banyana Banyana in South Africa during a FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying match on 19 March 1995 which ended 7-1 in Johannesburg.

Since then, South Africa is yet to secure a victory over Nigeria in any match held on their home turf.

Out of the now 25 previous meetings, including eight in South Africa, Nigeria has triumphed on 15 occasions, with six draws recorded. While South Africa emerged victorious in four meetings.

Banyana Banyana failure to beat Nigeria this time, has cost them a place in the Paris Olympics.

South Africa vs Nigeria Super Falcons in the Olympic qualifiers
Credit: @Banyana_Banyana X

2. Banyana Banyana lacked self confidence

Desiree Ellis's side showcased perceived lack of conviction on the ball and their desire to go forward and create meaningful scoring opportunities. This underscores their lack of mental strength and self-confidence in getting the job done.

In key matches like this, players must trust in their abilities and make decisive decisions to maintain control and dictate the flow of the game for a large period, this Banyana failed to do.

Confidence can be the difference between success and missed opportunities on the pitch and this played a really big role as the Super Falcons managed the game so well, capitalizing on the host's lack of true determination.

3. Super Falcons were solid at the back

Entering the game with a 1-0 advantage, Randy Waldrum's side knew a draw, irrespective of the scoreline, will seal their place in the Olympics.

The players did not rush the South Africans but maintained solidity at the back, attacking when necessary and having control of the game.

Super Falcons played according to plan and perfected it to the finish line. To be fair, South Africa did not really offer much in the game as the superiority of the visitors contained the hosts.

If the Nigeria team can remain this compact during the tournament proper, they look set to have a great time as they did in the last FIFA Women's World Cup.

4. Chiamaka Nnadozie was superb

Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie
Photo by Icon Sport

It'll be an injustice to not mention the heroics of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie who continued her superb performance from the first leg in Abuja last Friday.

The reigning African Goalkeeper of the Year faced several shots from the hosts, but her alertness was key to the crucial saves she made.

The 23-year-old Paris FC shot-stopper showcased brilliant skills in handling the shots directed at her goalpost, which highlights her importance to the team.

Nnadozie was well aware of what's expected of her in the second leg, she went into the game knowing that Banyana Banyana will have attacking vigour from the blast of the whistle even though they didn't really offer so much.

The goalkeeper did just enough to secure Nigeria's place in the next Olympics.

Women football at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics: What you need to know

Like other Olympic events, the 2024 edition has a football tournament which will be held from 24 July to 10 August 2024 in Paris, France.

Ahead of the tournament, Canada are the women's defending champions.

Sixteen teams from six confederations will participate in the women's category with the draws already made.

There are three groups composed of four teams each that will battle for a place in the knockout stage.

The two teams from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), have been drawn into Group B and Group C.

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will automatically roll into Group C where they'll face Spain, Japan, and Brazil.

The first match(es) of the Olympic Women's Football Tournament will be played on 25 July 2024.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.