FIFAWWC23:’Disappointed’ Waldrum unfazed by England, ready for World Cup Knockouts

Nigeria were disappointed to come away from their final Women’s World Cup group game against Ireland with just a point on Monday but would have gladly accepted it prior to kickoff if they knew it meant reaching the last 16, coach Randy Waldrum said.

Nigeria started the game top of the standings but the 0-0 draw allowed co-hosts Australia to move up to first place after they thrashed Canada 4-0.

Nigeria’s pay dispute has overshadowed their campaign, with the outspoken Waldrum saying he was owed seven months’ wages and some of his players had not been paid in two years.

But the American coach said he was proud of what the African side had achieved despite the complaints.

“I just told them that two years ago, when we started this journey, so many things went well and so many things didn’t go well. They never gave up, they continued to believe,” a smiling Waldrum said after they sealed qualification for the last 16.

“You know, I was actually disappointed in the second half because we could have won the match. So it almost feels disappointing that we didn’t get the result, the three points.

“But all of us would have taken this result before we started the match just to know we got through.”

See also Match Report: Nnadozie’s heroics earn valuable point for Nigeria in 0-0 draw
Nigeria will stay in Brisbane to play the winners of Group D, where England are in pole position with a three-point lead ahead of their final group game against China.

“If it’s England, it’s the European champions. We’ve already played the Olympic gold medallists (Canada). We’ve already played the host nation (Australia),” he said.

“So it’s just going to be another one of those matches that we’ve already been playing in.”

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