Super Falcons’ coach Randy Waldrum says lack of good knowledge about the female Mali Eagles was responsible for their performance in the Aisha Buhari Cup Competition’s opening match on Wednesday.
The coach admitted that the goals did not come early during the match because of the high-intensity game by the Malians, whom he knew little or nothing about.
Waldrum said: “It was difficult to find videos of the Mali team, and the only one I saw was their match against Morocco, which I used to scout.
“They played well and are well-organised.”
Newsmen report that the Falcons had on Wednesday began their quest for honour in the competition on a bright note by beating Mali 2-0.
The match played at the remodelled Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly known as Onikan Stadium, saw Gift Monday of Lagos-based FC Robo scoring a brace.
Monday, who substituted injured Desire Oparanozie, scored in the 83rd minute and later in the second minute of added time of the tension-soaked encounter.
Waldrum said: “We didn’t have a great start.
“The Malians pressed so high and were well-managed at the back.
“We could only find space when we went wide.
“The Malians are dangerous and played long balls.
“So, we made some changes in the second half and brought in more players in the midfield.”
NAN reports that the Super Falcons, who are nine-time African champions, did give a good account of themselves.
They broke down the Malians, who defended stoutly and also attacked menacingly through Azeezat Traore.
“The reserves were the game-changers because they brought the needed difference into the encounter,” Waldrum said.
Speaking also, Monday said she was happy to have scored the goals, having played on a known terrain.
She said: “What inspired me most was that I was playing on home ground and I am happy to represent my country.
“So, I had to give my best.
“I followed the instructions given to me by the coach, and I am proud of the goals.”
NAN reports that the match was watched by several personalities, including the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and CAF President Patrice Motsepe.
Others included the Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, and NFF First Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi.