Falcons' foreign coach has not made any difference in Nigerian team, says Mabo
Former Coach of the Super Falcons, Ismaila Mabo says the team lost to a much better side in Saturday’s Group A opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup between Nigeria and Norway at the Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims in France.
Goals from Norway’s Guro Reiten (17th), Lisa-Marie Utland (34th), and an own goal by Nigeria’s Osinachi Ohale (37th) ended the country’s hope of avenging the 8-1 loss the Falcons suffered in the hands of the Scandinavians in the 1995 edition of the tournament.
Mabo, who said he was unimpressed with the team’s performance on Saturday, added that the only progress he saw in the match was a reduction in the score line as against the 1-8 massacre the last time the two countries met.
“The Norwegians have been in women football for quite a long time now. If you can recall in 1995 in Sweden, when we played them they beat our Super Falcons 8-1. And before Saturday’s game, I was a bit skeptical about our chances against them because I knew it was going be a tough one for them and I know the group would be very dicey.
“I was not surprised by the score line at the end of the encounter because I felt they dealt with us again as their old customers. The only thing I saw as a little improvement is the 3-0 result as compared to the result in 1995.
“Even when the Scandinavians were absent from the tournament over the years, I knew they were not sleeping as they kept on improving on their game. Sweden had always piped them to the World Cup ticket. And now they are back, see what they did to us again,” he said.
Mabo appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to bring back the retired women footballers in order achieve good result.
“With the European in charge of the Falcons, we were able to reduce the score line. But I think we need to look inward and bring back the old players of women football, the likes of Mercy Akide, Florence Omagbemi and the rest in the team. The NFF should go back and think about bringing back the pioneers of women football and let them handle the girls in the future with the support of the coaches who discovered them,” he stated.