Nigeria ‘not afraid to lose’ – Super Falcons coach Waldrum preparing for Cameroon fight

The Super Falcons of Nigeria were held to a 0-0 draw by the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the first leg of their 2024 Summer Olympics qualifier in Douala on Friday.

It was a game Nigeria dominated, but they were wasteful upfront as they missed numerous chances that came their way. The result in Douala leaves the reverse fixture to be played in Abuja on Monday an open one.

Super Falcons manager Randy Waldrum has asserted that he and his team are not daunted by the potential threat posed by the Cameroonians ahead of Monday's crucial tie.

The victors of Monday's match will face off against the ultimate winners of the contest between South Africa and Tanzania, vying for a spot in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

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South Africa gained a significant edge heading into the second leg following their commanding 3-0 victory in Tanzania on Friday.

What did Waldrum say about Super Falcons?

After the game, Waldrum conveyed a steadfast confidence, declaring, “We’re not afraid to lose. I am not afraid.”

He emphasised his team's commitment to victory, stating, “My mind as the manager of the squad doesn’t think of what if we lose because we always play to win.

“That thought is not even in my mind. We don’t fear anybody.”

Reflecting on their past performances against top teams, Waldrum highlighted, “We played the European champions (England) to penalty kicks in the World Cup and held the Olympic gold medalist (Canada) to a draw at the World Cup, we got a victory over Australia. We can play with the best teams in the world.”

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While giving credit to Cameroon for their performance, he maintained, “But there is no fear in our part.”

Nigeria vs Cameroon encounters in the past

Overall, these teams have faced each other 12 times, with Nigeria prevailing in nine of those matches and suffering two losses and a drawn game.

Prior to Firday's result, Nigeria have emerged victorious in the last three encounters between these sides without conceding any goals.

They have dominated five out of their last six clashes with Cameroon, maintaining clean sheets in five of them.

Their most recent previous encounter occurred two years ago in the quarter-finals of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON 2022).

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However, it's worth noting that both of Cameroon's wins came at home.

When did Super Falcons qualify for the Olympic Games?

The Super Falcons boast an impressive record in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, clinching the title 11 times out of 14 editions, with their latest triumph in 2018.

Their Olympic history includes three appearances, debuting in 2000, reaching the quarter-finals in 2004, and their last participation in 2008.

Despite their undeniable talent, they have since struggled to qualify for subsequent editions.

Now, under Waldrum's leadership, can the Falcons secure their first Olympic appearance since 2008?

The world eagerly awaits the answer.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.