Nigeria: Friendly – Super Falcons Suffer Another Defeat in Japan

The Super Falcons lost their third friendly game ahead of the World Cup.

Japan’s female national team defeated the Super Falcons 2-0, Thursday. The female national team is yet to win a friendly game.

Thursday’s loss to Japan is their fifth in a row as they prepare for the 2023 World Cup.

The Super Falcons have become a shadow themselves as they fell to a second-half brace from Bayer Leverkusen’s forward Tanaka Mina.

Despite the pressure from the hosts, the Super Falcons were composed in the first half but couldn’t repeat the feat as the Japanese team, ranked 11th in the world, exposed the Falcons in the second half through Mina Tanaka’s four-minute brace in the 64th and 68th minutes. The first came from a well-worked free-kick and she got the second from the penalty spot.

Coach Randy Waldrum made four changes to the squad that lost 2-1 to the USA last month, starting Ashleigh Plumptre, Uchenna Kanu, Okobi Okeoghene, and Deborah Abiodun. Meanwhile, Rasheedat Ajibade kept her captaincy because of Onome Ebi’s continued absence because of injury.

In the 15th minute, a shot drew the first save from Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, who parried for a corner. Ten minutes later, Nnadozie was on hand to save her team again.

Vivian Ikechukwu came on for Christy Ucheibe in the 36th minute as the Falcons continued to hold on.

Nnadozie continued to keep the Falcons in the match as she saved a Tanaka header and then the rebound.

The Falcons threatened briefly just before the interval through Ajibade’s long-range shot, which went wide.

It took the Japanese 19 minutes into the second half to break the deadlock from a Tanaka finish to Naomoto’s free kick.

Tanaka doubled the lead from a spot after Osinachi Ohale infringed Sugita Nina, who was ahead of the defender in the Falcons’ box in the 68th minute.

Two minutes later, Miyazawa Hinata’s shot was parried for another corner.

The Falcons were close to halving the deficit through Ifeoma Onumonu in the 71st minute, but the assistant referee ruled her offside.

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