FIFA Women’s World Cup: Super Falcons Hold Olympics Champions In Group B Game 

11 months ago
1 min read

Nine-time African champions, Nigeria, in the early hours of Friday, held Olympics football women’s champions, Canada to a goalless draw at the Melbourne Rectangular stadium in their first Group B match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Heading into the game, the Falcons who have participated in all previous editions of the World Cup had the unwanted record of conceding the most goals in the tournament with 63 against them.

There was an injury scare for the Super Falcons early in the match as Barcelona Feminie striker Asisat Oshoala had to be attended to by the medics after a rough challenge.

Thankfully the African women’s Footballer of the Year made her way back to the pitch much to the huge relief of an entire nation.

Super Falcons striker Ifeoma Onumonu tried her luck from distance in the 22nd minute but her shot was palmed away for a corner kick

The duo of Francesca Ordega and Michelle Alozie threatened to cause all sorts of issues for the Canadians down the right flank in the 25th minute but the former’s tee-off lacked precision when the likes of Oshoala and Onumonu were eagerly anticipating a cross inside the opposition penalty box.

Christine Sinclair’s shot was dealt with by Chiamaka Nnadozie soon afterwards but the Super Falcons enjoyed better spells of possession towards the end of the first half.

Nnadozie saved a close range shot from Emile Phillips midway into the second half after she had earlier stopped Sinclair’s 48th minute penalty.

VAR had a second look at Francesca Ordega’s foul inside the vital area before handing the Canadians the chance from 12 yards which was saved by the impressive FC Paris goalkeeper.

Second half substitute Uchenna Kanu thought she was clear on goal after pouncing on a delightful cross by Onumonu but the ball was blocked by the Canadian goalkeeper.

The assistant referee however flagged her offside on that occasion.

Osinachi Ohale’s headed goal from a corner kick in the second half was ruled out as the referee spotted a foul in the penalty area leading up to the goal.

Defensive midfielder Deborah Abiodun, thrust into the clash in the absence of the suspended Halimat Ayinde, was then sent off into stoppage time after her initial yellow card for a dangerous foul on Ashleigh Lawrence was upgraded following a VAR review.

The Falcons managed to hold on to the valuable draw going into their next group game against tournament’s co-hosts, Australia in Brisbane on July 27.

The draw means that Nigeria are yet to lose a game to Canada specifically at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.


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