Luck on Super Falcons’ side as the Matildas report three players missing

Luck on Super Falcons’ side as the Matildas report three players missing
Credit: Icon Sport

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will on Thursday, 27 July, take on the Matildas of Australia in a Group B 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup fixture scheduled to take place at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. The match will kick-off at 11 am Nigeria time.

The Australia women's team have started the competition on a good note, defeating Ireland in their first game of the tournament 1-0.

Meanwhile the Super Falcons of Nigeria showed resilience and organization in their first game to snatch a valuable point off the seventh FIFA-ranked team, Canada last Friday.

As both teams go toe-to-toe in Group B on Thursday, early team news has come in; unfortunately, the Matildas will be without three of their key players in the game against Nigeria, a prospect which could work in favour of the eleventh-time champions of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations.

However, Nigeria will be without the services of key midfielder Deborah Abiodun, who was impressive in the game against the Canadians, but got a late red card.

Super Falcons celebrate Chiamaka Nnadozie
Credit: Icon Sport

According to reports by Fox Sports, Australia are already without their star-striker Sam Kerr and now they have been dealt an additional double blow ahead of Thursday's game against Nigeria.

As confirmed on Wednesday by the team, Mary Fowler and Aivi Luik are the other two players ruled out of the game after sustaining mild concussions during training.

“Fowler and Luik have both fully recovered and commenced Football Australia’s Graduated Return to Play protocol,” the team added in a statement.

Coupled with Kerr's absence, the loss of Fowler in particular is a crushing setback for the Matildas, with the 20-year-old’s absence yet another blow to Australia’s attacking firepower, switching luck to some extent to the Super Falcons.

Fowler was decisive in Australia’s 1-0 defeat of France in the Matildas' final preparatory game before the Women’s World Cup, scoring the winning goal of the game.

Good news for Australia as Tameka Yallop returns to the team

Australian fans have good news to hold on to despite counting their losses prior to the game. Tameka Yallop has declared she will be fit to face Nigeria after missing the game against Ireland with a thigh injury.

She spoke about her comeback and how her injury was a minor one:

“I’m back on the park and good to go, I’ve had plenty of corks in the past, so I knew the process and it was just really about being patient and letting it recover.

“For me, there wasn’t really any doubt that I wouldn’t be OK for the remainder of the World Cup, so it was just about being patient for me.

“I always love coming back to Queensland. I’m looking forward to playing at (Suncorp) Stadium. I have lots of fond memories there, and we’d love to create more.”

The 32-year-old midfielder for Brann being available for the Australians in the Women's World Cup fixture against Nigeria, is a welcome boost for a team already without Fowler, Luik, Kerr and Kyah Simon (who is recovering from torn ACL).

Positive team news for the Super Falcons

The Super Falcons of Nigeria has welcomed the return of the fabulous Rasheedat Ajibade and midfield maestro Halimatu Ayinde from suspension.

Both players missed the 0-0 draw against Canada, and will be available to face Australia on Thursday.

With the camp of the Super Falcons looking good in training and positive about the game, a depleted Australia women's team can still do damage to their quest of qualification into the next stage.

The absence of key players for Australia should be enough morale bolster as the Super Falcons seek to pick their first three points of the ongoing Women's World Cup, and stand a chance of qualifying into the next round.

The Super Falcons must be at their best though, and be very decisive in front of goal, improving from their last showing to upset the odds in Australia battle.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months 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.