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Super Falcons’ defeat a wake up call, says Chiejine

By Samuel Ifetoye
23 September 2021   |   3:03 am
Despite Nigeria’s 2-4 loss to South Africa in their final match of the just-concluded Aisha Buhari Invitation Women Football Tournament, Super Falcons’ Assistant Coach

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana defeated Super Falcons of Nigeria 4-2 to win the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Cup… yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Despite Nigeria’s 2-4 loss to South Africa in their final match of the just-concluded Aisha Buhari Invitation Women Football Tournament, Super Falcons’ Assistant Coach, Ann Chiejine, has said the game has shown the coaches what they need to do to get the team back to the top of the game.

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana beat the Falcons 4-2 on Tuesday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos State, to win the maiden Aisha Buhari Cup, which also featured Cameroun, Ghana, Mali and Morocco.

Speaking at the end of the encounter, Coach Chiejine, who represented Super Falcons’ Head Coach, Waldrun Randy Marlon, said the coaches now know what to do to get the team ready for the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier against Ghana.

“We have put the defeat behind us. The most important thing right now is the match against Ghana in the AWCON qualifier. I thank God that we played this game and we have seen the loopholes in the team, which we are going to work on.

“But I think generally the South Africans gave us a good fight and I am also proud of my girls. Coming back into the second half, we scored two goals, but unfortunately, we couldn’t go further.

“Nevertheless, it was a good game and this has shown us that we have to work on one or two things, which we will do.

“Every team that is playing against Nigeria wants to beat us and it is for us to go back to the drawing board and work on our next AWCON qualifier against Ghana.

“We have watched the Ghanaians and we know who we are going to call to help us as some of our players were not here,” she said.

In her response, Head Coach of South Africa, Ellis Desiree, said her girls were in the tournament to show how much they had grown in the game.

“I think a lot of people had expected us to play the long ball, but we kept on playing because that is what we wanted to do to become unpredictable and to make sure we control the tempo of the game.

“We decided that we are going to stay true to who we are … we controlled the tempo of the game. We almost made Nigeria play the way we wanted them to play except for the 10 minutes (second half) when they bombarded us and we made silly errors.

“But my team still showed a lot of character, a lot of confidence to take the game back to them and we took back the game, which we really managed very well to our advantage. Nigeria is a fantastic team because I have been to here before where we got beaten 4-1, 5-1.”

She said they knew how difficult the Falcons could be, hence “we had to prepare really well, which we did.

“The victory is very important to us and we are going to stay focused and put the win behind us. We will think of the next task, and make sure that we use this victory against Nigeria as a springboard to take us further.”