NFF: Falconets must play for 90 minutes


Speaking in Abuja, on his return from Saudi Arabia where he performed the lesser hajj (umrah), Maigari said he was happy the team got a draw against Brazil on Wednesday but not really satisfied with the performance.

"Our girls did well against Korea Republic to earn the three points and should be credited for coming out of the clash with Brazil with a point. These are big names in women's football. But the truth is, we stopped playing after one hour against Brazil and allowed them to come at us and pile up the pressure.

"In football, you don't do that. Our girls left themselves open to anything and it is not the way to win a game. Definitely, against Italy, we have to go all out and keep frisking for the whole of 90 minutes," said the NFF President.

Nigeria clash with Italy at the Kobe World Cup Stadium starting from 8.20am Nigeria time on Sunday, with all four teams in Group B still in with a mathematical chance of qualification for the quarter finals.

Victory against the Italians will certainly earn the Falconets a place in the last eight, but if the result is a draw and Korea Republic (2-0 winners over Italy on Wednesday) defeat Brazil in the other match of the group that will be played simultaneously in Tokyo, the Nigerian girls will settle for second place.

Either way, their quarter-final match will come up on Thursday at the Tokyo National Stadium. The winner of Group A will play the runner-up in Group B while the winner of group B will play the runner-up of Group A.

Presently, hosts Japan top Group A with four points going into the final group matches, following their win over Mexico and draw with New Zealand. Should Japan defeat Switzerland on Sunday, New Zealand and Mexico, on three points each, will battle for the second spot in the pool in Kobe, after Nigeria and Italy must have finished their on-pitch deliberation same day.