Nigerian striker, Ifeoma Onumonu, is hungry for more chances as the Super Falcons gear up to face Australia in their second group game of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. After securing a goalless draw against Canada last Friday, the team is looking to capitalize on their performance and secure a positive result against Australia.
This World Cup marks Onumonu’s debut on the global stage, and despite having fewer than 20 caps, she has swiftly emerged as a rising talent for Nigeria.
Her impact was evident during the match against the Olympic champions, where she almost found the back of the net with a delightful shot in the 23rd minute, only to be denied by an acrobatic save from goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
Reflecting on her attempt, Onumonu expressed optimism about getting more opportunities of a similar nature. She aims to be efficient in front of goal while hoping for increased chances in the upcoming match against Australia in Brisbane.
“It was a good shot, I think. Just trying to get more opportunities like that would be great for us. I’m trying to be efficient at the same time too,” Onumonu said.
“I hope that in the next game (against Australia on Thursday in Brisbane), we have more opportunities. I think (we’re) just getting out those first-game nerves. I think we’ll watch the game back and I think that we’ll see that we had a little bit more space than we probably thought we did. I’m looking forward to the next game and starting to just play off each other some more.”
Assessing the competitive nature of Group B, Onumonu acknowledged that every match would be challenging. Australia’s narrow 1-0 victory against Northern Ireland demonstrated that points would be hard-fought in the group.
“In this group, every game is going to be hard,” she said. “I think, watching (Australia’s) game with Ireland, they put up a good fight and they ended up winning with a penalty, so clearly, it’s not as clear-cut as some might have thought it would be.”
Although Nigeria faced some challenges with the absence of two starting midfielders due to red-card suspensions from the Africa Cup of Nations, Onumonu and Francisca Ordega showcased their talents, indicating their potential to shine with better support.
Onumonu aims to capitalize on the opportunities in the upcoming match against the co-hosts, either finding space to maneuver through the box or setting up her teammates for success.