The tactician will resist the temptation of making many changes to the team as he looks to sustain the momentum after edging out Botswana
Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum is not looking to make many changes to his squad ahead of the Super Falcon’s crunch clash with Burundi in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
Nigeria bounced back from their 2-1 defeat to South Africa on matchday one to beat Botswana 2-0 on Thursday and now need a victory against Burundi to be assured of their place in the quarter-final.
The defending champions, who are seeking a record-extending 10th African title, saw Ifeoma Onunmou open the scoring in the first half before substitute Christy Ucheibe added a second goal with a powerful header from a corner, just minutes after coming on at the start of the second half.
While he was pleased with his substitutes, who also included Monday Gift, coming in for Ngozi Okobi, Regina Out replacing player-of-the-match Ordega, and Macleans Chinonyerem for Onumonu, Waldrum will resist the temptation of tinkering with the team against the Wafcon rookies.
“It is a long tournament. You need to be better every game. This was not the end product; we know we have to build on this as we continue to progress through the tournament,” Waldrum said after the match.
“It was nice to get some players in but we will not do things in a crazy way. We are not through yet, we still have another result we have to get on Sunday so there will be continued evaluation of all the players.”
“Even with the changes, the players that came on had an impact, Christy Ucheibe came in at halftime and got the second goal off a header and that is what were are asking them; To be the game-changing kind of players, not reserves. When you come off the bench, you need to have that mentality.”
Unlike the game against South Africa where they were not at their best, the Super Falcons were in control of Thursday’s encounter, winning numerous dues while earning a number of corners and the scoreline should have been bigger had they utilised their chances.
Nigeria are now second in Group C on three points, the same as Botswana who have an inferior goal difference, and even though a draw could see them through as one of the two best third-placed teams, the champions will be targeting victory against the winless Burundians.
Should Waldrum stick with the side that beat Botswana on Sunday?
A man who completed a summer move to Bayern Munich was so desperate to represent his country that he was prepared to put his life on the line
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