The Summer Series tournament started on a sour note for the Super Falcons. They were all over the place in their first game against Jamaica which they lost 1-0.
But Randy Waldrum didn’t have his best player Asisat Oshoala and his most experienced defender Onome Ebi for that game.
Despite arriving in Houston just a day before, Waldrum threw both into the starting XI for the next game against Portugal.
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There was a stark improvement in that game from the Super Falcons perspective. Old bad habits crept up again, and some individual mistakes made them concede.
But they fought back to draw the game 3-3 brilliantly.
To round up the Summer Series, Nigeria’s senior women’s national team faced host United States, the best team in women’s football.
The difference in quality was noticeable, but the occasion did not faze the Super Falcons.
They were solid and defended well without the ball. Their main problem was with the ball, with their inability to string passes together.
Yet they remained in the game for a long time, with goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi making fantastic saves all through the game.
She stopped Megan Rapinoe from scoring in the seventh minute and quickly off her line to clear the ball after a mistake from left-back Glory Ogbonna.
She stopped Rapineo one more time in the first half.
The Super Falcons improved and made an attempt on the US goal midway in the first half.
Oshoala, closely watched, did not get enough service, but she worked hard and created some moments.
In that first half, she created space for herself and found a teammate in a good area in the USA area, but the follow-up effort was over the bar.
Despite the good work for most of the game, losing concentration in key moments let the Super Falcons down again.
They conceded with the last kick of the first half and second half to lose 2-0.
Ebi was another fine performer on the night, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough for the Super Eagles against the best team in world football.