A former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, has commended the Super Falcons for their victory over Australia in the Women’s World Cup on Thursday, saying that the team’s performance shocked Nigerians.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Peterside said the victory of the Nigerian female team over the co-host of the tournament has brought back joy and excitement among Nigerian football fans.
“We are all excited and the beauty of the victory of yesterday is that it’s been a long time, whether the female team or the male team that Nigerians have been excited like this. We have always been used to this kind of joy and happiness and we have not seen that in a long time, but yesterday was something unbelievable.
“It all reminded us of the 1994 Super Eagles; it reminded us of years back when we used to get so excited about this game.
“And again, kudos to these girls, no one ever believed at the beginning of the game, I was expecting that we will lose 4-0, 3-0, we were just praying that the goals will be very few, but they shocked us, we are so excited that hope has come back to Nigerian football,” Peterside said.
The Super Falcons came from a goal down to beat Australia 3-2 in a Group B game at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Thursday which has now put them on top of the group with 4 points.
Emily Van Egmund gave the Maltidas the advantage just a minute into added time after a poor clearance from the Nigerians. But Coach Randy Waldrum’s girls responded minutes later to level the scoreline.
Rasheedat Ajibade was the provider as Uchenna Kanu sent the ball to the back of the Australians’ post.
That strike saw both sides heading into the tunnel with the match all square. While the Australians pushed for a second goal of the day, it was the Super Falcons who scored when Osinachi Ohale headed the ball into an empty net in the 65th minute following the Australian keeper’s failure to punch away Ajibade’s header.
Before her goal, the Nigerian coach had made a double switch, bringing in Ifeoma Onumonu for Uchenna Kanu while Asisat Oshoala came on for Esther Okoronkwo.
And in less than 10 minutes after she came on, Oshoala silenced her critics, capitalising on a defensive mix-up to score her first goal of the tournament.
Despite the two-goal deficit, the Maltidas pushed on for a turnaround. The tournament co-hosts surged forward as they battled to revive their campaign. But the Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was equal to the task, keeping the Australians at bay.
With the last minute of added time left to play, the home team, however, got a consolation goal from Alanna Kennedy.