South Africa Who? Nigeria’s Super Falcons Remains Africa’s Créme De La Créme!

The Super Falcons of Nigeria moved up eight places to 32nd globally, from 40th position, in the latest FIFA Women’s World ranking released on Friday August 25th by the world football governing body.

The nine-time African champions maintain their position as the number one female national team on the continent after an impressive outing at the just concluded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The Super Falcons finished second in Group B with five points to qualify for the Round of 16 stage at the tournament, despite being ranked the lowest in the Group that had co-hosts Australia, reigning Olympic Champions Canada and the Republic of Ireland.

The Nigerian ladies were unfortunately eliminated 4-2 on penalties by European champions England after playing out a goalless draw in 120 minutes.

The Falcons were also ranked as the 10th best participating team after the conclusion of the tournament.

South Africa and Cameroon maintained their places as the second and third-best teams in Africa, while Morocco leapfrogged Ghana to fourth with the Black Queens of Ghana rounding up the top five teams on the continent.

Despite finishing fourth in the 2022 Women’s African Cup Of Nations (WAFCON) which ensured Nigeria’s qualification to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Super Falcons remains Africa’s best female football team.

The Super Falcons were beaten 1-0 by the Copper Queens of Zambia in the third placed match of the 2022 WAFCON after losing to hosts Morocco in the semi final.

Banyana Banyana of South Africa lifted the trophy for the very first time after defeating the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco 2-1 in the final. The South African ladies were also named the National Team of the Year, and were also given the ‘Fair Play Team’ title.

It wasn’t a surprise when South Africa’s women national team goalkeeper, Kaylin Swart stated recently that Banyana Banyana are no longer scared of Nigeria’s Super Falcons when it comes to women’s football in Africa.

“Nigeria dominated Africa for many many years and were ahead of us in every competition, they used to be a step higher even at the world cup and at the Olympics”

“We have to work hard and improve ourselves technically and tactical to close the gap over time and play with confidence, and now we no longer fear them” she claimed.

It’s not just because the Super Falcons have won a whooping NINE out of the twelve WAFCON tournaments competed for. Nigeria proved at the just concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup that they are the only African female team that can face a top ten country. Meanwhile, the other African representatives faltered against their respective top ten opponents.

Despite all the drama and bonus issues leading to the Women’s World Cup, the Super Falcons played out a goalless draw against Olympic champions Canada (7th) in their opening game before defeating co-hosts Australia (10th) in their second game. The Nigerian ladies were unfortunately eliminated 4-2 on penalties by European champions England (4th) in the Round of 16 following a goalless draw after 120 minutes.

South Africa lost 2-1 to Sweden (3rd) in the group stage, before exiting the tournament following a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands (9th) in the Round of 16.

Morocco were trashed 6-0 by Germany (2nd) in their group opener before being eliminated from the World Cup after losing 4-0 to France (5th) in the Round of 16.

Africa’s bronze medallists Zambia also put up a sorry show losing 5-0 each in their opening two fixtures against eventual champions Spain (6th) and Japan (11th) respectively.

No wonder, after the exit of the Super Falcons from the World Cup Michelle Alozie said that Nigeria was actually fighting for Africa.

“We kept fighting, we fought for Africa, we fought for Nigeria and I just hope everyone is proud of us but this isn’t the end, this is really only the beginning of the wave of Nigerian soccer” concluded Alozie.

In her quest to clinch a first World Cup trophy, Africa made history by having three countries qualify to the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup for the first time. However, the Super Falcons proved once again that they remain Africa’s Créme De La Créme.

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