The Super Falcons of Nigeria were unable to secure a victory in their final group game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday, settling for a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland.
However, the solitary point earned proved to be more than enough to guarantee their passage into the Round of 16 as runners-up in Group B, behind co-hosts Australia.
Overall, the Super Falcons displayed an above-average performance, particularly in the second half, and their defensive prowess deserves commendation.
As with any game, the players’ contributions varied, and here is how they rated against the Irish Ladies:
GK Chiamaka Nnadozie – 7/10: Didn’t have too much to do as she deservedly secured her second clean sheet of the group stage.
DF Ashleigh Plumptre – 7/10: Provided solid defensive cover and posed a threat with her dangerous crosses into the box from the flanks.
DF Blessing Demehin – 6/10: Though not heavily tested, she showed composure when called upon and made some crucial recoveries.
DF Osinachi Ohale – 6/10: Looked rock solid for most of the game, but a couple of late mistakes raised eyebrows, luckily without serious consequences.
DF Michelle Alozie – 7/10: Did well in her defensive duties but played an even more crucial role in supporting offensive actions, particularly in the first half.
MF Halimatu Ayinde – 7/10: A constant source of fire quencher with her defensive runs but she can improve her passing after winning the ball.
MF Toni Payne – 8/10: Impressed with her excellent passing and overall dominance on the pitch, coming close to scoring with three shots, which went just wide of the target.
MF Christy Ucheibe – 7/10: She carried out her midfield duties admirably, excelling in the tactical aspects of the game.
MF Uchenna Kanu – 7/10: Though she occasionally attempted solo runs to force the issue, her overall performance was solid.
MF Rasheedat Ajibade – 8/10: Demonstrated defensive discipline by effectively keeping Ireland’s captain Katie McCabe at bay, preventing her from dominating the middle of the pitch.
FW Asisat Oshoala – 6/10: Had a relatively ineffective match, often arriving too late to capitalise on inviting crosses into the box. She also failed to bury the gilt-edged chances that came her way.
MF Gift Monday – 6/10: Provided valuable assistance on the defensive end during the closing stages of the match. She had a debut to remember.
FW Ifeoma Onumonu – 5/10: Made minimal impact after coming on as a substitute, struggling to make her presence felt.
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