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The coach of Nigeria’s women national team Randy Waldrum has urged the Super Falcons players to keep improving on their performance ahead of the FIFA Women’s Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Waldrum who has been under fierce criticism having lost more games in the calendar year than any other Super Falcons coach, recently lost the international friendly match against Japan at the Noevir Stadium in Kobe on Thursday, with two goals scored by Japan’s Mina Tanaka in the second half.

Despite the defeat Nigeria’s coach strongly feel the team is doing better compared to their performance at previous tournaments, especially the other friendly matches in which they struggled to earn points due to absence of a full team.

“I don’t put a lot of weight by what everybody outside says or the results of some games where we know half of those games we have not had our full team together,” Waldrum said to ESPN according to Complete Sports.

“We are coaching the players that we have and I am proud of their development and I think the fans will be proud of their performance at the World Cup.”

The Super Falcons had flashes of good play and almost took the lead with Ashleigh Plumptre well placed free kick which struck the woodwork. While the Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was also a delight to watch, making brilliant saves in the first half.

Although Japan players were faster with their pace, the advantage paid off in the 65th minute as Tanaka chested the ball from a free kick and slammed past Nnadozie.

The pressure from the Japan women saw Osinachi Ohale on a harsh challenge leading to a penalty just three minutes after the first goal, Tanaka brilliantly converted for a second goal.

The international friendly match is for both teams a tune up game for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. 

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