Sport

WAFCON 2022: We lost to Morocco because of red card – Waldrum

Head coach of the Nigeria women’s national team, Randy Waldrum, has blamed their semi-final defeat to Morocco in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on the two red cards the team received on Monday.

The Super Falcons were eliminated by the Atlas Lionesses, who won 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra-time.

In the 48th minute, Halimatu Ayinde was given her marching orders.

However, the red card did not dampen their spirit as they took the lead in the 62nd minute when defender Yasmin Katie Mrabet put the ball into her own net after a powerful effort from Rasheedat Ajibade.

Morocco levelled matters eight minutes later when Sanaa Mssoudy scored and in the 70th minute Nigeria suffered a further headache as they were reduced to nine players after Ajibade was sent off as well.

Asked to comment about officiating after the game, the American coach told reporters: “We [coaches] can’t comment on officiating, we will get into trouble,” with a smile on his face.

“We were in control of the game until after the first red card, then the second red card; I will put it this way.”

Waldrum, however, reserved praise for his players, insisting they had fought gallantly despite Morocco having the numerical advantage in the second period.

“I am proud of the girls tonight [Monday]. We wanted to win the game, not just the World Cup ticket,” Waldrum continued.

“Our substitutions were spot on and we can’t ask for more from the players, they gave their best.”

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