Nigeria vs Canada: 5 lessons from Super Falcons’ Women’s World Cup result

Nigeria vs Canada: 5 lessons from Super Falcons’ Women’s World Cup result
Credit: Icon Sport

The Super Falcons of Nigeria faced the reigning Olympic champions, Canada, in the second Group B match of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in the early hours of Friday.

It was undeniably a tough encounter for the Nigerian ladies who endured an onslaught from the Canadian side throughout the match.

The game ended 0-0 as both teams could not find the net, but it was a spirited performance from the Super Falcons' goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, who proved too good for the Canada's leading goalscorer Christine Sinclair, denying her a crucial penalty in the first few minutes of the second half.

Now, let’s delve into the five key lessons we learnt from the Super Falcons' goalless draw with Canada.

Resolute Super Falcons defence

The most standout aspect of the Super Falcons' performance against Canada was their resolute defence.

Ashley Plumptre and Blessing Demehin led the backline with unwavering determination, frustrating the Canada forwards and denying them many clear-cut chances.

The Super Falcons must now build on this unwavering defensive organisation and composure going further in the competition, as this will be crucial in securing a positive result in their next game against the host, Australia.

Slow start to the game

Randy Waldrum's team took some time to get into their usual groove in the opening match. Granted, Canada dominated the entire match, but their dominance started early on from the first quarter of the game.

The Super Falcons got pegged back, and were comfortable to sit deep in their half as the Bev Priestman's ladies held onto the ball and mounted pressure on the Falcons backline.

Although the Nigeria team ended the first half strongly, the issue of the slow start to their first match needs to be addressed by the coaching crew, keeping in mind that asserting dominance and taking proper initiative in games like that is of utmost importance.

Super Falcons in safe hands with Nnadozie

Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, in action
Credit: Icon Sport

The Super Falcons and Paris FC shot-stopper was at her A-level game against the Canadians in the thrilling battle for points in Group B.

The Nigeria team had put up a solid defensive showing in the game until Francisca Odega committed a needless foul to give Canada a deserved penalty early on in the second period.

The resulting spot kick from Christine Sinclair was saved by Nnadozie, who put up an outstanding double save to deny the Canadian top goalscorer and helped the Falcons earn a memorable point, keeping a clean sheet as well.

Lack of precision in front of goal

A major area of concern for the Super Falcons lies in their lack of cutting edge in front of goal.

The failure of the Asisat Oshoala led attack to register just a shot on target against Canada from 11 attempts underscores the importance of precision in front of goal.

Super Falcons must work on their offensive play, create clear-cut chances and convert them into goals going forward into the next game.

They should study Australia's defensive strength and weakness and exploit them to their advantage in their next match, in order to make it past the group stage.

Super Falcons should exploit set pieces

The Super Falcons played six corners and freekicks apiece in the hard-fought stalemate but failed to capitalize on any of them.

The Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum, and the players should recognize the importance of set pieces and work on their execution to get goals.

Drawing up set-piece routines and effectively carrying them out can be a difference maker against tough opponents in the competition.

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will next play Australia on 27 July. They'll need to win to effectively stand a chance of making the next round. On the other hand, a win for Australia will send the host to the next stage of the competition.

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.