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Lions Women Tested Against Nigeria’s FIFA World Cup Squad.

In preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, our Lions Women played the Nigeria Super Falcons in a morning friendly against our Matildas’ Group Stage rivals.

 

Our Lions took full advantage of an incredible opportunity, playing a warm-spirited friendly against the Nigeria Super Eagles World Cup squad, who are set to occupy our facilities at Luxury Paints Stadium as they prepare for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

The Nigeria Super Falcons squad is four times the African Women’s National Team of the Year. They are in full preparation for their opening match of the World Cup, which takes place at 12:30pm against Canada on Friday, 21st July, in Melbourne.

Nigeria shares a group with our own Matildas, as well as Canada and Ireland, in a tough group full of competition. The Nigeria Super Falcons are entering their ninth Women’s World Cup campaign and will be eager to build on their 2019 WWC Round of #16 appearance.

With a history of success behind them, the Nigeria Super Falcons are by far the most successful international women’s teams in Africa, with a record eleven Women’s Africa Cup of Nations titles, most recently coming in 2018. They are the only women’s team from the Confederation of African Football to have reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They are among the few teams to have successfully qualified for every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

For our Lionesses to share a pitch with such an esteemed opponent was an incredible honour and an incredible opportunity to learn, admire, and develop their football further. To put the Nigerian quality into context, their squad boasts players who have succeeded at the top level of football across Europe, from FC Barcelona in Spain to Leicester City in England.

Our Lionesses played with pride against an esteemed opponent, holding our ground against an incredibly athletic and dominant opponent. With impeccable strength, speed, athleticism, control, composure, and vision, Nigeria showcased the level that World Cup teams play at.

Jamilla Rankin made a sliding goal-line clearance in the fifteenth minute after a low strike across the goal beat Elli Chapple. Minutes later, Chapple made a crucial intervention, showing authority in her box to punch away a dangerous cross.

Nigeria opened the scoring in the twentieth minute, with Ifeoma Onumonu hooking a right-footed strike into the very top-right corner from the edge of the box. Onumonu plays as a centre-forward for NJ/NY Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League in America.

Elli Chapple made a fantastic diving save against Onumonu moments later before Toni Payne kissed the bottom left corner via the woodwork with a pinpoint strike from twenty yards out. Payne currently plays for Sevilla FC in the Liga F league in Spain and contributed three goals from left-back last season.

A flurry of loose balls, failed clearances, and scuffed shots bounced around our box before Cannon Clough demonstrated her leadership, clearing the danger with composure. 

Asisat Oshoala burst into the box, controlling the ball on the spin before elegantly lifting it over Elli Chapple from the centre of the box to make it three-nil. Asisat Oshoala is perhaps the most acclaimed member of this Super Falcons side, currently playing for FC Barcelona Femeni in Spain. Oshoala has won the UEFA Champions League twice with the Blaugrana, most recently last month against Wolfsburg. Oshoala has 99 goals in four years at FC Barcelona and has previously played for Liverpool and Arsenal in England.

Asisat Oshoala has a cabinet of honours, both individually and across her team career, and scored 21 goals last season from the centre-forward position. Oshoala scored a second goal against Chapple in the second half, planting a first-time strike into the top-right corner after a sharp cutback at the edge of the box.

The Nigeria Super Falcons continued to demonstrate their excellence after the break, with Atletico Madrid’s Rasheedat Ajibade scoring the fourth following a series of rebounds. Tara O’Keeffe struck the crossbar with a deft first-time strike from the edge of the box after Amy Gunston won an intense footrace down the left file and hooked a sharp cross between two defenders to meet our midfield maestro.

Halimatu Ayinde from FC Rosengård in Sweden made it six with a left-footed strike into the top right corner before Chapple continued to stand her ground, recording another fine diving save against a mighty effort from range.

Uchenna Kanu of Racing Louisville in America scored a seventh before Meghan McElligott won a penalty as our Lions burst forward on the attack. Kalli Cowles guided a powerful penalty into the roof of the net, earning a goal for our Lions and showcasing our spirit. It was a deserved reward for a hard-fought performance that saw our Lionesses remain positive and determined against a World Cup-calibre side that performed at a completely different level.

Nigeria was awarded a penalty, which Elli Chapple heroically saved, diving to her right to parry a low strike away from the bottom left corner. Unfortunately, Gift Monday of UDG Tenerife in Spain scored the rebound in the final action of a thrilling 8-1 loss.

For our Lionesses, who are at the forefront of women’s football in Queensland, it was an incredible opportunity to face some of the best players in women’s football across the globe, competing for ninety minutes against a season and honoured Nigerian national team.

The result wasn’t important in the match. It was an honour to share the field with Nigeria, and our Lions Women will take what they have learned into the rest of the season. We wish the Nigerian Super Eagles the best of luck in their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign and are proud to welcome them to Luxury Paints Stadium as their Team Base Camp. 

Nigeria Super Falcons vs. Lions FC

#SoarSuperFalcons | #HeartPridePassion | #FIFAWWC

Goalscorers

20’ | Ifeoma Onumonu

27’ | Toni Payne

32’, 52’ | Asisat Oshoala

50’ | Rasheedat Ajibade

54’ | Halimatu Ayinde

76’ | Uchenna Kanu

83’ | Kalli Cowles

87’ | Gift Monday

 

HT: LIO 0 – 3 NIG

FT: LIO 1 – 8 NIG

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