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Despite Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to South Africa in their Group C opening game of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco on Monday, fans have singled out defensive duo Ashley Plumptre and Michelle Alozie as well as Rasheedat Ajibade for praises, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The Super Falcons began their quest for a 10th title on a losing note at the Prince Heritier Moulay El Hassan Stadium, Rabat, putting up one of their worst performances in recent times.

Despite heading into the game as favourites, the nine-time champions failed to live up to expectations with the Banyana dominating play and possession. They were punished for their lacklustre performance as two quick goals from Jermaine Seoposenwe and Hilda Magaia in two minutes handed the South Africans their fourth-ever win over the Falcons.

In spite of the poor display by Randy Waldrum’s players, some sections of fans took to social media to praise Plumptre, Alozie and Ajibade for putting up a great show.

A Twitter user Respect Emsty4u wrote, “Ashley Plumptre happens to be our best player so far, so calm with the ball, full of confidence, passed the ball well.”

Folarin added, “Why is Onome Ebi hoofing the ball aimlessly upfield? Ashley Plumptre looks really comfortable on the ball.”

Another Twitter user, Unekwuojo, also had some praises for the Leicester City woman.

“Ashley Plumptre should replace Onome Ebi in CB. She’s old and slow and it showed on Monday,” he wrote.

“Ashley and Rashidat were among few players that turned up yesterday (Monday). No disrespect to Banyana, they did the needful but we were beyond terrible. They must step up in their next game.”

Oke Oluwafemi, who was also left disappointed with the team’s performance, singled out the trio for praises.

“Literally, one of the worst Falcons performances I’ve ever seen. Only a handful of players played well enough. RB Alozie, LB Plumpter. Can’t understand the decision to play Ajibade from the midfield.”

“Ajibade gave her all but her crosses were poor, Plumptre, Ebi and Alozie were great as well. Our greatest undoing was the midfield, I don’t know if the defence didn’t trust the midfield because they kept on bypassing the midfield with long balls,” Ayebakuronengiyefa Eketei tweeted.

Born2RichSports said, “Ashley Plumptre was the best player today (Monday). A great addition to the Falcons.”

Wolphieee_x was also full of praise for Alozie and Plumptre.

“There’s no drive from the team, no zeal, no confidence. I must commend Alozie, her yellow card might affect us in this tournament, but it’s fine and @ashplumptre played good.”

Adémólá Folúshó tweeted, “Ashley Plumptre was on fire today (Monday). The girls did very well on the pitch. I am not going to make any comment than to try harder next time. Wish you good luck.”

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