NFF Women Football Committee member Thelma Agara says the Super Falcons have shown significant improvement under head coach Randy Waldrum following their performance at the US Summer Series in Texas.
In his first assignment as Falcons coach, the American tactician led Nigeria to victory at the Turkish Women’s Cup in February, with wins over CSKA Moscow Ladies (1-0), Uzbekistan (1-0) and 2-time African champions Equatorial Guinea (9-0).
However, at June’s Summer Series, results were far from straightforward. The 9-time African champions surprisingly lost 1-0 to Jamaica and came from behind to draw 3-3 against Portugal, before gallantly going down 2-0 to 4-time World Cup winners, USA.
The results notwithstanding, Agara believes avoiding a scandalous defeat against powerhouse USA shows the Super Falcons have made progress under the former Trinidad and Tobago coach.
“The Super Falcons, to me right now, I think they are better,” she noted.
“Why I say ‘they are better’ is because you know America is one tough side that always give every other female team problems. But with this recent friendly they played in the Summer Series, America could not give us basket of goals, rather it was just only two.
“I think with 2-0 loss (to USA), I’m sure that Super Falcons have improved, because of recent you can see that they (USA) beat one of these countries (Jamaica) 4-0. So, If they cannot beat us that way again, I think Super Falcons have improved, and I welcome the idea of (hiring) Randy Waldrum too.”
Apparently pleased with the performance of Nigeria at the Summer Series, the former Bayelsa United secretary Agara called for more high-profile friendly matches for the Falcons, adding that the 1999 World Cup quarter-finalists are not pushovers.
“With the recent results, I think such friendlies should be going on,” she said.
“I’m sure they underrated Jamaica, that was why they lost to Jamaica. But they woke up. You can see that the next game they played, it was 3-3 (against Portugal). That is to tell you that it was not an easy match.
“And you know anything Nigeria, everybody, they don’t just take Nigeria for granted like that. When they hear ‘Super Falcons’, they want to play their best.
“So, I think Super Falcons on their own should also understand that they are a threat to so many teams, and each time they are coming, let them put it in mind that nobody looks at them as a cheap team to play with.”