The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has hailed the women’s national team, despite their semi-final defeat in the Women Africa Cup of Nations to Morocco on Monday night.
The Super Falcons were reduced to nine within 90 minutes, handing the hosts a massive advantage to win the game in either regulation time or extra time.
However, the Falcons battled to a 1-1 draw after extra time, but the North Africans advanced after a 5-4 win in the resultant penalty shootout.
According to Pinnick, the players should be commended for their display despite the numerical disadvantage.
“Of course, we would have been happy to be in the final and chase a 10th title,” Pinnick said as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.
“But I am happy with the performance of the team and the way and manner they approached the game despite all sorts of setbacks and intimidation.
“To play 50 minutes of a game with only nine players is not an easy task. The Super Falcons gave their all and were truly fabulous.
“They had the ‘Nigeria spirit’ in them and showed a sense of patriotism, were dogged and refused to give up. Penalties are forever a lottery, so it could have gone either way. I commend the team for the outing.”
The also commented on the issue of laser lights that were flashed on the Nigeria players during the shootout.
He has, however, pointed out the team will be preparing well for the World Cup in 2023.
“Our girls did a massive job on a night they were not only depleted but challenged by laser lights trained on their eyes by the crowd,” Pinnick added.
“I am enamored by their resilience and tenacity. The next step now is for the Federation to do everything possible to prepare the team adequately for the FIFA World Cup finals coming up next year.”
Nigeria will now play Zambia in the third-place playoff as Morocco and South Africa battle for the title.