WAFCON: Waldrum plans to rest Falcons stars vs Burundi as debutants eye upset

Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum has hinted that he will make changes to his starting line-up when they face Burundi in their final Morocco 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash in Rabat.

The defending champions will qualify for the quarter-finals with a win or draw against the debutants and Waldrum says his side are looking to consolidate on the 2-0 victory over Botswana on Thursday while freshening up his squad.

“We want to build on the confidence that we got from winning our second game,” the American told his pre-match press conference today.

“When you go into the third group game, as the coaching staff, we start looking at who we want to play, who should rest.

“Some of our players have played 90 minutes twice already and it is a long tournament. If you are fortunate enough to make it through six games, we have to be mindful so these are some of the challenges that we have. So we have to try and find that balance.”

However, Burundi are not giving up on reaching the quarter-finals despite losing their first two games.

The East Africans are pointless after defeats to Botswana and South Africa, but they will secure a spot in the knockout rounds if they can pull off an upset victory over nine-time champions Nigeria tomorrow night.

“We are going to play against a very experienced team at the WAFCON,” said Falonne Nahimana, who plays for Huddersfield in England.

“We want to go into this game to correct our past mistakes in the two games that we have played so far and we hope to do well.

“I am very grateful to the federation for giving me the opportunity to play for the Burundian team and tomorrow’s match is a match of my dreams to play against a great team like Nigeria is a great opportunity. For us as players, we need to go and fight as a team and do it with respect for our country.

Meanwhile, Waldrum gave an update on the fitness of Ashleigh Plumptre, after the Leicester City missed the 2-0 win over Botswana with a knock.

“We need to check Plumptre to know if she is fit, we need her to recover fully,” Waldrum explained.

“We trained earlier, so we have an idea of where she is in her recovery.

“But there’s a possibility that we will hold her again just to make sure she gets ready for the quarter-finals.

“Still, we would consider giving her some game time to get some minutes under her belt before the quarter-final match. However, it all depends on the doctor.

“Nonetheless, if the game against Burundi were the quarter-final, she would be playing.

“She’s capable of playing, but we also want to be smart.”

The game kicks off at 9pm, the same time as the other Group C tie between South Africa and neighbours Botswana..

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