US coach, Jill Ellis, praises Nigerian Falcons


Abuja – Coach Edwin Okon says the Super Falcons have learnt invaluable lessons with their ouster from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this came just as the coach of the U.S. Jill Ellis rained praises on the Nigerian side for their efforts.

Okon, while speaking at the post-match news conference, said the team had gained experience at the competition.

The Falcons lost 0-1 to the U.S. in Vancouver on Tuesday in their final Group D game to crash out of the competition.

They ended up with one point from one draw and two losses in three matches, after scoring three goals and conceding six.

“It was a great experience for us here in Canada,’’ Okon said.

He however said his team lost focus, and the U.S. only needed to hold on to their lead after Nigeria were reduced to 10 players later on during the match.

“We weren’t focused enough in a few situations today (Tuesday). And, I wasn’t surprised to see the U.S. make substitutions that were more defensive after our sending-off as they knew they were playing a good team.

“You always have a 50-50 chance in every game. Today (Tuesday), the U.S. made the most of one of their chances and we didn’t, even though we had several,’’ the coach said.

Falcons had earlier drawn 3-3 with Sweden and lost 0-2 to Australia.

Meanwhile, the coach of the U.S. Jill Ellis, has praised the Nigerian side for their efforts, saying his team however rose to the occasion to maintain their dominance over the Falcons.

“Nigeria gave us a good fight, as expected. They’re a dangerous team. I’m happy with the way we played both with and without the ball.

“We can attack with confidence if we have a good backline. It’s a shame we only scored one goal but we’re very happy to finish top of a difficult group,’’ the coach said.(NAN)


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