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Thursday, February 22, 2024

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: How NFF prepared Falcons with 29 matches in 29 months

Following what was generally perceived as a below-par performance by the Super Falcons at the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France, with a 3-0 defeat by Germany in the Round of 16, the Nigeria Football Federation drew up a deliberate and strategic plan to adequately prepare the team for the biggest-ever tournament scheduled for Australia and New Zealand.

For 29 months, starting in February 2021, the Super Falcons played a total of 29 matches across five continents of the world, prior to the commencement of the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Down Under.

The unprecedented preparation started with the Turkish Women’s Cup tournament in February 2021, where the Falcons defeated their counterparts from Uzbekistan and Equatorial Guinea (the latter got a 9-0 hiding), as well as the women’s team of CSKA Moscow football club.

Three months later, the Falcons played three matches at the USWNT Summer Series in the United States of America, before featuring in the Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos and coursing through the qualification matches for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2022.

The team also played two matches against the Canada Women National Team in Vancouver and Victoria City in April 2022, before taking in six matches at the Women AFCON in Morocco.

They returned to the United States in September 2022 for two matches against four-time world champions USA, flew to Japan to duel with Nadeshiko and flew across the world to play three matches in the Revelation Cup Tournament in Mexico in February 2023. Two months later, they landed in Turkey for two matches against Haiti and New Zealand, before a final camping kick-about with Lions FC of Brisbane in Gold Coast five days before Australia and New Zealand 2023 kicked off.

ALL THE SUPER FALCONS’ MATCHES BEFORE FWWC 2023

18/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 1-0 CSKA Moscow Women

20/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 1-0 Uzbekistan

23/02/21 – Turkey: Nigeria 9-0 Equatorial Guinea

10/06/21 – USA: Jamaica 1-0 Nigeria

14/06/21 – USA: Portugal 3-3 Nigeria

17/06/21 – USA: USA 2-0 Nigeria

15/09/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-0 Mali

21/09/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-4 South Africa

20/10/21 – Lagos: Nigeria 2-0 Ghana

24/10/21 – Accra: Ghana 1-0 Nigeria

18/02/22 – Abuja: Nigeria 2-0 Cote d’Ivoire

23/02/22 – Abuja: Cote d’Ivoire 0-1 Nigeria

09/04/22 – Canada: Canada 2-0 Nigeria

12/04/22 – Canada: Canada 2-2 Nigeria

04/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 1-2 South Africa

07/07/22 – Morocco: Botswana 0-2 Nigeria

10/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 4-0 Burundi

14/07/22 – Morocco: Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria

18/07/22 – Morocco: Morocco 1-1 Nigeria (Morocco win on penalties)

22/07/22 – Morocco: Nigeria 0-1 Zambia

03/09/22 – USA: USA 4-0 Nigeria

06/09/22 – USA: USA 2-1 Nigeria

06/10/22 – Japan: Japan 2-0 Nigeria

15/02/23 – Mexico: Mexico 1-0 Nigeria

18/02/23 – Mexico: Colombia 1-0 Nigeria

22/02/23 – Mexico: Nigeria 1-0 Costa Rica

07/04/23 – Turkey: Nigeria 2-1 Haiti

11/04/23 – Turkey: New Zealand 0-3 Nigeria

15/07/23 – Australia: Nigeria 8-1 Lions FC

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