2022 Awcon Qualifiers: ‘The players fought really hard’ – Waldrum gushes over Falcons in Ghana win
Coach Randy Waldrum has lauded his Nigeria side for fighting ‘really hard’ in Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph over Ghana.
The Super Falcons put in a fine shift to subdue the Black Queens in the tight African Women’s Cup of Nations qualification fixture in Lagos, with Uchenna Kanu bagging a brace.
For the American tactician, it was important that the reigning African queens kept a clean slate, while heaping plaudits on goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie for denying Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo’s side on several occasions.
- Salah makes a mockery of Ballon d'Or ranking in Liverpool's derby demolition of Everton
- England's 20-0 demolition of Latvia exposes women's football problems that UEFA and FIFA must solve
- Ballon d'Or 2021 Power Rankings: How Messi beat Lewandowski in the closest race for years
- The new Mourinho? Palmeiras boss Abel Ferreira taking inspiration from 'the Special One' with second Copa Libertadores triumph
“We are extremely excited about the win. Obviously, it’s important to get a win at home and keeping a clean sheet too was very important for us to go into the second leg,” said Waldrum.
“In the first half, we came out with a good attacking mentality. In the second half, we played a little more off the counter.
“It wasn’t my design – they were chasing the game and we had some tired legs at the end.
“But the players fought really hard, I thought Chiamaka came up with a big-time save to keep a clean sheet which was very important for us. We all understand this is just half of the job.”
The return leg will be held on Sunday at Accra Stadium, and having in mind the importance of that showdown, the former Trinidad and Tobago handler revealed he will leave no stone unturned to ensure qualification.
“The staff will get back and we would have some conversations and watch the video of how we want to approach the second leg,” he continued.
“We all know that when you do home and away it’s important to keep a clean sheet at home.
“But it’s also important to score a goal in the second leg because the away goal really counts for you.
“So, we will have to find a balance of making sure that we are attacking but also protecting the two-goal lead that we have.”
The winners on aggregate will square up against Niger Republic or Cote d’Ivoire in the second round.
Morocco 2022 will be used to determine Africa’s qualifiers for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup billed for Australia and New Zealand.