Nigeria's Super Falcons performance at the Women's world cup is earning them commendations from fans back home and raising high hopes. The Super Falcons will play England on Monday in the round of 16 after recording two goalless draws against Ireland and Canada and a 3 2 win over Australia in the group stage. Fans at home continue to relish their group stage performance.
"I am really excited that they get to draw this match, at least they won the last one and they have qualified for the next stage of the match already so I am really happy for them. They won 3:2 in their last game so that was really impressive to watch." says Joy Erim a logistics manager in Lagos.
A football coach Edem Robin in Lagos also praised the Falcons. "Unlike other African countries that are struggling to qualify. So far Nigeria has done better, personally I’ll give them 70% compared to other countries of the world" Robin said.
"They just need to do one or two things with their performance and they are good to go. They performed not so bad, so it’s not bad actually for the African countries, compared to way back when Africans go there, it’s like we are just going there to play and all that. We’ve made a landmark that we are not just a continent that you can just sweep over."
The Super Falcons have won the African Women’s Championship an unmatched eleven times and this is the third time they have made it to the second round in the women's world cup.
South Africa and Morocco are the other African teams that have progressed to the next round of the competition in Australia and New Zealand, something that Chuma Nnoli, a Nigerian sports analyst describes as an impressive feat.
"Africa has the pleasure to providing four teams to the competition compared to what we had in 2019, and it’s important that Africa shows the rest of the world that we deserve even more slots perhaps moving on as the competition expands maybe in the nearest future again. Having three African teams fo the first time in the round of 16 today, is impressive." says Nnoli.
"Just like we had in 2019 when there was Nigerian and Cameroon but better in 2023 because of the fact that Nigeria finished in the group unbeaten. In 2019 the Super Falcons only narrowly qualified as best as best losers, one of the four best losers. So, all round, there has been signs to show that the women’s game is improving in Africa and that we can be proud of what the ladies from our continent would have to offer the rest of the world in the coming years" he added.
On Thursday, Morocco on their Women's World Cup debut reached the last 16. Alongside South Africa and Nigeria, fans would be looking to see if the African women's teams will continue their progress
Africanews Lagos Correspondent David Taylor reports that Nigeria's women's team are currently the first African side to keep two clean sheets in the tournament. They are also the only African team that took part in every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 1991.