Following a 4th place finish at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations -WAFCON in Morroco , Legendary Super Falcons striker Mercy Akide-Udoh has admitted the Nigerian ladies no longer look unbeatable in the eyes of other African countries.
Akide , a winner of three African Women’s cup of Nations titles believes this is down to the growth of women’s football in Africa which has reached a level that ” Everyone now believes they can beat Nigeria .”
At the 2022 WAFCON, Nine time Champions Nigeria were defeated On penalties by hosts Morroco in the Semi Final before falling to a 1-0 third place match loss to Zambia .
” The Competition is growing and other countries are catching up. Everybody now believes they can beat Nigeria , ” Akide stated via BBC Sport Africa.
” Just seeing Morroco with what they have done and the investment they’ve made, i think women’s football and a lot of countries will learn from it , ” Akide continued.
” When I see those countries that are investing , if you give it four or five years, it is going to be amazing , i am so grateful that i am still alive to see what CAF is doing for women’s football . ”
” The quality from my time to now is getting better. South Africa have come so far and I give kudos to my friend Desiree (Ellis) for what she has done for that team . Looking at the Morroco team the coach ( Reynald Pedros ) has done an amazing job. ” Mercy Akide concluded.
46 year old Akide was a part of the Super Falcons team that won the African Women’s Championship titles in 1998, 2000 and 2022 .
Married to veteran Journalist Collins Udoh, Mercy Akide-Udoh also represented Nigeria at three FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments.
Despite a difficult tournament in Morroco , Nigeria’s Super Falcons did enough to secure a 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ticket courtesy of a 1-0 Quater final win over Cameroon.
Nigerian’s have been critical of the performance of the Super Falcons under Randy Waldrum with a section calling for his replacement with one of the former Super Falcon players with Akide’s teammate Florence Omagbemi top of the list of suggestions .