By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Two goals scored by Christen Press in the 45+2′ and substitute Lynn Williams 90+4′, in the highly explosive final match of the Summer Series condemned Nigeria to a 0-2 loss to United States.
The match played at brand new Q2 Stadium in Austin , Texas, in the early hours of Thursday lived up to its billing as both countries gave as much as they can receive in the game with the Nigerians standing toe to toe with the Americans on the day.
It was a tie befitting the Texas state as the Americans debuted their brand new naval camo kits as the Dazzle unis made their first appearance in 2021. In fact, matching up against Nigeria, it might have been one of the strongest jersey matchups in international soccer ever.
The Stars and Incongruent Stripes came out in a 4-3-3 with both the Mewis sisters on the field along with veteran Carli Lloyd who wore the Captain’s armband, getting her 300th cap for Team USA.
Nigeria lined up in a 4-4-2 that shifted into a very effective five defender formation without possession of the ball.
The Super Falcons were physical and unintimidated by the team in Dazzle camo, keeping a compact and organized backline that did well to contain the American attack.
In possession, they moved the ball quickly forward trying to get forwards Asisat Lamina Oshoala of FC Barcelona feminine or Francisca Ordega, formerly of the Washington Spirit to hit USA on the break.
However, when it looked like the teams would go into the half deadlocked at goalless, forward Press capitalized on defensive mistake to hit a one-timer into the Nigeria net from far distance for the USA first goal.
Before the goal, Nigeria’s backline had held strong, however the team lost possession in its own defensive third and couldn’t regain its shape before Carli Lloyd and Press caused some havoc.
The second half started with no chances, but by the 53rd minute, Carli Lloyd made way for Alex Morgan just as USA Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski made several changes which saw one of the subs Williams
who replaced superstar, Megan Rapinoe scoring her team’s second goal in the added time.
Williams would prove to be a difference maker as the forward got on the end of a clearance from the USA half and rounded the Nigeria netminder (Oluehi) for the second goal of the game.
Thus Nigeria ended the Four-Nation invitational tournament tagged Summer Series winless as the Super Falcons were defeated 1-0 by hapless Jamaica before forcing Portugal to a 3-3 draw in the second game played at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Nigeria gaffer, Randy Waldrum has also joined the rank of Super Falcons coaches who are unable to beat or at least get a draw in the tie against Team USA at any level.