Japan Women’s National Team coach Ikeda Futoshi has disclosed his admiration for the Super Falcons ahead of the international friendly game between Nigeria and the Asian country.
The two continental giants will square up against each other in Kobe next week in preparation for next year’s Mundial.
The Super Falcons have not been impressive recently, suffering two consecutive losses to the United States in a doubleheader in September.
Aside from those losses, the Nigerian ladies finished a disappointing fourth at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Morocco in July.
Despite the Super Falcons’ failure to pick up positive results from their last four matches, Nadeshiko Japan’s coach Futoshi is aware that the nine-time African champions can be a tough nut to crack on their day.
Futoshi narrowed down the Super Falcons’ strong points to the team's speed, strength, and solid defence. And the 51-year-old tactician believes keeping these Nigerian features at bay will be crucial to Japan’s victory.
“They showed great speed and strength even at the U-20 level,” Futoshi told the Japan FA official website.
“We must be careful of their unique speed and tempo and try to pass the ball around their strong defence to create chances.
“We want to play to our strengths while taking into account the strengths of our opponents.”
Nigeria’s Super Falcons will face the Japanese side at the NOEVIR Stadium Kobe on October 6.
Super Falcons depart Nigeria for Japan
The Super Falcons are on their way to Kobe, Japan, where they will take on the Japan Women’s National Team in an international friendly.
In a video posted on the NFF TV and shared on the official Twitter account of the Nigerian women’s national team, some of the Falcons’ stars in the country packed their bags and headed for the airport. There they will take the flight to Japan, where they will be joined by foreign-based stars like Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala and new Levante las Planas signing Ebi Onome.
Nigeria will be looking for their first win over Japan since a 1-0 triumph at the 2004 Olympic Games. The Asian queens won the two subsequent friendlies between the two teams in 2013
Two weeks ago, Super Falcons head coach Ralph Waldrum invited 22 players for the international friendly meeting with Japan.
That team list also included three players from the Falconets side that reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The youngsters earning their first senior call-ups are Profit Imuran, Tosin Demehin, and Deborah Abiodun.
This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago