Super Falcons left-back Ashleigh Plumptre has claimed that African teams have improved technically and tactically beyond the stereotype of physicality and pace.
Four African teams qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup going down in Australia and New Zealand, with three of those progressing to the knockout round for the first time in CAF’s history on the global stage.
“I’m telling you, after this (R16) game (Nigeria vs England), I’m tired of people just saying that African teams are just strong and fast, and counting us out as being technical or tactical,” Plumptre was quoted according to Ghanian Sports Journalist Juliet Bawuah.
Over the years, CAF’s representation at the FIFA Women’s World has transcended from having only Nigeria in 1991 and 1995 to two slots between 1999 and 20011, before claiming three slots since 2015 till date.
However, debutants Morocco and Zambia, alongside South Africa all clinched historic wins for the first time in the World Cup, noting the six points gained by the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco following 1-0 wins over the Koreans and the Columbians in Group H.
For the Super Falcons of Nigeria, their solid defensive structure was evident in their 4-2-3-1 formation with Christy Ucheibe and Halimatu Ayinde as holding midfielders in support of the central defensive pairing of Osinachi Ohale and Oluwatosin Demehin.
The impeccable form of 22-year-old Chiamaka Nnadozie in between the sticks for the Super Falcons also complimented Waldrum’s compact idea, which statistically produced results with three clean sheets and two goals conceded from four games played in regulation time.
These pointers only compliment Ashleigh Plumptre’s assertion that African teams have become more aware technically and tactically, with the ability to push any top team in the world to the limit.
“Like we just pushed England to the very end. And I actually think that we had better chances than them,” she said after the knockout game on Monday morning.
“We Made a statement here. We won’t be forgotten for what we’ve done and this will just be the foundation moving forward.”
Ashleigh plies her club trade in the Women’s Super League in England for Leicester City Women, after joining the Foxes in the 2019-20 football year.