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‘You’re our champions’: Dare, Nigerians hail Super Falcons despite WAFCON defeat

Sports minister Sunday Dare and Nigerian football fans have praised the Super Falcons for their resilience even in defeat against Morocco at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final in Rabat last night.

Despite playing with nine men against Morocco’s 11 for 50 minutes, the Super Falcons withstood pressure and baying 50,000 Moroccan fans to take the match to penalties, which they lost 5-4.

Dare hailed the nine-time champions’ Nigerian spirit and referred to them as ‘our champions’.

“Your resilience, character, and management of the game must be commended,” the minister said in a statement issued today.

“I salute your doggedness, commitment and fighting spirit. For holding the Moroccans in front of over 45,000 capacity crowd you have once again displayed the never-say-die attitude of true Nigerians.

“Even when down to nine players after those red cards, you held your own. You are our champions. Nigeria is proud of you.

“It was a match I followed very keenly and I am so proud you displayed the Nigerian spirit. I am proud of this team, even in defeat.”

Hundreds of Nigerian football fans also took to social media to commend the effort of the Super Falcons, who soldiered on despite the dismissals of two key players, Halimat Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade.

“Win or lose, I’m so proud of the Super Falcons for how bravely they’ve fought in this match. So proud,” journalist Fisayo Soyombo wrote on Twitter moments after the epic encounter.

“You won’t find many football matches where a team with a two-man personnel disadvantage prevents the opposition from scoring for over 50mins.”

Another Nigerian fan, simply identified as Damiword on Twitter, praised the Super Falcons for their monumental effort.

“Omoh give it to the Super Falcons
They gave their best. What a way to bow out!”

Radio host Sarafina Napoleon added her voice in giving kudos to the outgoing champions.

“Take a bow my Queens. It was a spirited performance,” the broadcast journalist tweeted.

“Played 23 minutes with 10 women and 50 minutes with 9, no team, absolutely no team could have held on but you did it.

“This is a super falcons appreciation tweet. QUEENS I STAN.”

Marketing communications expert Moshood Akinleye, who has worked in the sports publishing industry with Complete Communications Limited in Lagos, was poetic in his praise of the Falcons.

“They should be proud. We should be proud too,” he wrote.

“Against all odds, the Super Falcons kept a very skillful and pacey Morrocco for more than 40 minutes with two women down without conceding a goal.

“We are proud of you. Come home with pride.”

Olanike Oluwadamilola added on Twitter: “I’m proud of them too… It’s not easy to be two players down and still do well…. We move and channel energy into the world Cup now…”

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Naija Times