By Monica Iheakam
Nigeria’s opponents at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup are growing grey hairs over the recent pairings that pitched them against the 11-time African champions.
On Saturday, the draws for the World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand threw up interesting pairings with hosts Australia, Canada and Republic of Ireland finding themselves in Group B alongside Nigeria.
While the pairings have drawn mixed reactions from Women football lovers all over the globe, the coaches of Nigeria’s opponents have been coy in their thoughts about having them thrown in the mix with Super Falcons.
Republic of Ireland coach Vera Pauw described Nigeria as the toughest team in Pot 4. “It’s a bit of a shame that we drew the toughest team in Pot 4 Nigeria, but we won’t fear anyone. It’s a tough group but a very exciting one,” Pauw told FIFA.
Canada’s Bev Priestman is boosting of having beaten the Super Falcons in their recent meeting and adjudged it as positive sign of things to unfold when the World Cup proper starts.
“Our recent experience (of beating) both Australia and Nigeria is positive. But I don’t think there are any easy games.
Tony Gustavsson of Australia said; “Someone texted me and said we drew the top-ranked opponent in Pot 2, the third-ranked opponent in Pot 3 and the top-ranked opponent in Pot 4 so, yeah, it’s a tough draw. But if you look at the bracket and tournament, there is no easy game. It is all about knowing who you are facing and preparing in the best way possible.”