Preview: Nigeria Vs USA Women’s International Football Friendly
by Chidi Nwoke.
The Super Falcons of Nigeria will square up against the United States of America in its last outing of the 2021 Summer Series Tour at the brand new state-of-the-art Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The international friendly has been scheduled for 02:00 (West African Time) on Thursday, June 17.
The Super Falcons, ranked 38th in the latest FIFA rankings suffered a 1-0 defeat to 51st ranked Jamaica in the opening match of the tournament. Nigeria then played a 3-3 draw with Portugal after the reigning African women’s champions battled its way back despite a two-goal deficit.
For Randy Waldrum’s team, they would be hoping to pick up their first victory against the four-time Women’s World Cup winners.
The Super Falcons are capable of causing an upset, as it has enough athleticism, determination, skill and speed that can make a difference. However, it would not be a walk in the park against a resilient US Women’s side that once put 7 past the Super Falcons in a group match at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
The match saw the Super Falcons take the lead just two minutes into the game, before the Americans exploded and scored five half goals and two in the second to win 7-1.
Regardless of the result, the essence of the outing is to keep the West African side in fine shape ahead of October’s Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier against rivals, Ghana. A win over the Americans would give the Super Falcons much confidence going into the match against Ghana.
The USA is coming off a 4-0 victory against Jamaica, which featured goals by Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, Margaret Purce and Alex Morgan.
The meeting between Nigeria and the USA will be the sixth meeting all-time for both sides, and the first ever meeting between the teams in a friendly competition.
The teams have met five times previously, all at world championship events, four times at the Women’s World Cup (1999, 2003, 2007, 2015) and once in the Olympics (2000).
Team USA has beaten the Super Falcons in every encounter.
Team Nigeria Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Yewande Balogun (California Storm, USA), Sunday Etim (Abia Angels), Tochukwu Oluehi (CD Pozoalbense, ESP)
DEFENDERS (8): Blessing Demehin (Sunshine Queens FC), Onome Ebi (FC Minsk, BLR), Onyinechi Ibe (Bayelsa Queens FC), Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, ESP), Akudo Ogbonna (Sunshine Queens FC), Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens), Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA), Salome Zogg (FC Zurich Frauen, SUI)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, ESP), Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, ESP), Amanda Mbadi (Bayelsa Queens FC), Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens FC)
FORWARDS (11): Charity Adule (SD Edibars FC, ESP), Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, ESP), Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash Reserves, USA), Roosa Ariyo (Tikkyurilian Palloseura, FIN), Ebinemiere Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens FC), Obianujuwan Ikechukwu (River Angels), Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens), Ijeoma Okoronkwo (Houston Dash Reserves, USA), Ifeoma Onumonu (NJ/NY Gotham FC, USA), Francisca Ordega (Levante UD, ESP), Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, ESP)
Team USA Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)