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Bullish Falcons Urged Not to Underrate Republic of Ireland; As Hope Rises For South Africa & Morocco

July, 30 2023.

Ahead of their final and decisive Group B fixture against the Republic of Ireland, at the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand; players and officials of the Super Falcons of Nigeria have been urged to guide against complacency, and go for an outright victory, which could see the nine time African Champions, win the Group B.

The body of Sports Journalists in the country (SWAN) gave the advise, in a statement signed by its Secretariat General, Ikenna Okonkwo while congratulating the Randy Waldrum's tutored side, on their heroics against Canada and Australia in their first two games at the world cup.

Having held reigning Olympic Champions, Canada to a goalless draw in their tournament opener, the Super Falcons punched above their weight again by defeating Australia 3-2; and needs at least, a point against already eliminated Republic of Ireland on Monday morning.

The defeat suffered by a result that means the Aussies who are on 3 points, must win their final group game against Canada to qualify for the Round of 16, reports.

To advance to the next round of the Mundial, the Falcons need to avoid losing to their Republic of Ireland counterparts, aka the Girls in Green at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane; while Canada who like Nigeria are on 4 points will be needing at least a draw when battling the Matildas of Australia on Monday at the Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne, to advance the second round.

On Sunday, New Zealand became the first host of the FIFA World Cup to crash out of the tournament, despite holding Switzerland to a goalless draw in their final Group A game, to take their points tally to four, same as Norway who literally crushed the Philippines 6-0 to gain a hefty goals difference of +5.

While the Swiss topped the log, and were followed by Norway; the duo of New Zealand and the Philippines exited the tournament, but with some pride.

Two African teams, South Africa and Morocco that were thought to be on the brink of exiting the World Cup, have seen their campaigns boosted in contrasting fashion.

Following Saturday's 5-0 hammering of Italy by Sweden, the Banyana Banyana who in their first two games, had the misfortune of letting their leads slip-off their fingers and are now on one solitary point, now have their fate in their own hands, and will advance to the second round with Victory of any margin against Italy on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco on Sunday rose above the 0-6 thumping defeat handed them on their debut at the finals by Germany, to upset South Korea 1-0 on Sunday. Aside being their first victory at the finals, the encounter will go down in history as one which had a player (Nouhaila Benzina), wearing a hijab in a FIFA Women's World Cup.

However, while South Africa is being backed by bookmakers to surmount the odds by edging out Italy; Morocco will have a mountain to climb, to advance from the group when playing Colombia in their last group match, on Thursday. This is largely because of the six goals they shipped-in against Germany; who were surprise 1-2 losers to a Colombian side that scored late on to win the encounter.

For Zambia who are already eliminated after conceding a whopping ten goals, in their first two matches - 0-5 to Japan and 0-5 to European powerhouse, Spain. Both results makes their encounter against another hapless team in the group, Costa Rica a dead rubber, where only pride will be at stake; as Japan and Spain who are both on 6 points, are locked in a contest to decide who tops Group C.

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