2024 Olympic qualifier: Five tactical tweaks Waldrum must make to avoid defeat against Cameroon 

Published: February 25, 2024
2024 Olympic qualifier: Five tactical tweaks Waldrum must make to avoid defeat against Cameroon 

The Super Falcons were held to a frustrating goalless draw in the first leg of their Olympic third-round qualifier against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon held in Douala last Friday.


While the away draw leaves the tie delicately poised heading to Monday's return leg in Abuja, there's no room for complacency for coach Randy Waldrum and his team. 


The Lionesses, with their sights firmly set on a historic qualification for the Olympics, will be no pushovers at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.


Ultimately implementing some tactical tweaks can give Coach Waldrum and his team the best possible chance of securing victory in Abuja and booking their place at the Paris 2024 Olympics.


Allnigeriasoccer.com takes a look at five tactical tweaks Waldrum must consider to ensure the Super Falcons avoid defeat and secure their passage to France's capital:


1. Sharpen the attack using other options:


While the Super Falcons controlled possession for much of the first leg, their attacking play lacked the necessary bite. Asisat Oshoala, usually a prolific scorer, was largely abysmal in front of goal, and the team struggled due to her complacency.


Waldrum could consider deploying a different attacking option upfront. The likes of Omorinsola Babjide and Esther Okoronkwo are other viable options that could take the game to the physical Cameroonian defense due to their outstanding footwork and finishing ability when it matters the most.


2. Address set-piece vulnerability as well as practicing it as a winning tool:


The Super Falcons were a bit shaky at the back defending set-pieces in the first leg. Waldrum must address this issue by working on zonal marking and ensuring proper communication between defenders.


Urging and emphasizing taller players like Blessing Demehin and Osinachi Ohale to mark Cameroon's aerial threats could prove crucial.


However, the team's gaffer must ensure his side effectively practice penalty shootouts and set-pieces in training, in anticipation of the game possibly ending in another stalemate given the defensive philosophy of both sides.


3. Utilize the home advantage:


Playing at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, the Nation's capital, in front of a passionate home crowd can be a significant advantage for the Super Falcons.


Waldrum must use this to his team's benefit. He should encourage his players to feed off the crowd's energy, start the game on the front foot, and press Cameroon high up the pitch from the outset.


4. Manage the midfield battle:


The midfield battle will be crucial in dictating the tempo of the game. In the first leg, Deborah Abiodun and Christy Ucheibe did well to win the ball back, but the Super Falcons lacked a creative spark in the middle of the park.


Starting a player like Jennifer Echegini, whose decent passing range and ability to unlock defenses with explosives forward sprints was glimpsed in the first leg, could definitely be a gamble worth taking.


5. Maintain discipline and focus:


The Super Falcons cannot afford to repeat the unnecessary yellow cards and individual errors that plagued them in the first leg.


Maintaining discipline and focus throughout the game will be paramount. Waldrum needs to emphasize the importance of composure, especially under pressure, and ensure his players stay organized and avoid giving away cheap fouls in dangerous areas.



Ejim Kaycee




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