Super Falcons Breaks 16 Years Jinx Following Their Qualification For 2024 Olympic Games

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Super Falcons of Nigeria have broken a 16-year deadlock as they seal their place in the upcoming summer Olympic Games set to be held in Paris, France.

What happened?

Super Falcons played out a goalless draw with South African ladies in Pretoria on Tuesday night, April 9 to qualify for the 2024 women’s Olympic Games this summer.

It is the Super Falcons’ first qualification since 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 1-0 slim aggregate win secured by the nine-time African champions when they hosted the South Africans in Abuja on Friday, April 5 was enough to see the Falcons gain a ticket to the upcoming event.

Rasheedat Ajibade of Atletico Madrid Femeni was the hero of the Super Falcons when he scored the lone goal in the first leg to help his side secure the Olympics ticket.

Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum named the same starting XI from the first leg, with Asisat Oshoala starting from the bench once again. The first half was pretty balanced, with Nigeria and South Africa canceling and blocking every available chance.

The level of play was quite brilliant as both teams opted to play from the back rather than launch long balls from defence to attack.

However, very few chances fell to both sides, as both defenses stood tight. Super Falcons goalie, Nnadozie was hardly called to action, as South Africa failed to create a clear-cut chance in the first half.

Super Falcons, on the other hand, had one shot on target, as Ihezuo’s header from Ajibade’s cross was well saved by the South African goalkeeper.

South Africa were better in the second half, but they were kept at bay by the Super Falcons’ setup. They did have a good chance in the 70th minute, but Nnadozie was good for her side, as she saved Sinxolo’s strike. The Paris FC goalkeeper made another good save in the 86th minute to keep Nigeria in control of the match.

The result saw Nigeria break the 16-year jinx of absence from the Olympic games since 2008 in Beijing.

Nigeria have now slotted into Group C at Paris 2024, joining the likes of Spain, Japan, and Brazil in the said group. It will be the fourth Olympics for the Super Falcons, the most appearance for any African nation.

What Super Falcon’s head coach said concerning their victory over South Africa

Super Falcons head coach, Randy Waldrum showered praises on his players after they booked a place at the 2024 Olympic Games.

Waldrum praised the players for their intense performance in the keenly contested encounter.

After the game, Waldrum said; “The team did everything we asked of them to get the result.”

“We knew South Africa would come at us, we respect them but this was our seventh or eighth clean sheet, we have been very good defensively.”

He added; “With time and some proper work, we will also be better on the offensive side, which everyone is asking for.”

What Nigeria’s Sports Minister said after the Super Falcons victory over South Africa

Minister of Sports Development of Nigeria, Senator John Enoh, has also saluted the Super Falcons of Nigeria for qualifying for the women’s football event of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Minister commended the team for their bold, energetic, and relentless performance that earned them a goalless draw in Pretoria and a 1-0 aggregate win.

Senator Enoh expressed immense pride in the Super Falcons’ achievement, emphasizing that their performance deserved nothing short of the ticket to Paris.

Enoh said; “Today, we salute the Super Falcons for their extraordinary display of tenacity and doggedness, breaking barriers and reclaiming Nigeria’s spot on the Olympic stage,”

He added; “Their victory is not just a triumph for Nigerian football but a testament to the power of dedication and teamwork. As we look forward to Paris 2024, let us rally behind our champions and support them as they strive for greatness.”

When will the football event at the 2024 Olympics commence?

The football tournament at the 2024 Summer Olympics will be held from 24 July to 10 August 2024 in France.

The draw took place in Paris on 20 March 2024. In addition to the Olympic host city of Paris, matches will also be played in Bordeaux, Decines-Charpieu (near Lyon), Marseille, Nantes, Nice, and Saint-Etienne.

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