Nigeria 0-0 (2-4 pen.): Super Falcons exit FIFA Women's World Cup

Nigeria 0-0 (2-4 pen.): Super Falcons exit FIFA Women's World Cup

Imhonlamhen Eronmhonsele
  • Nigeria's hopes of progressing in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup were dashed in a heart-wrenching penalty shootout defeat to England at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
  • The Super Falcons put up a brave fight for 120 minutes in front of a lively crowd but could not secure victory against the European champions.

In the starting lineup, Coach Randy Waldrum stuck with the same eleven players who brought success in Nigeria's win against Australia. Asisat Oshoala returned to the bench while Uchenna Kanu, Ify Onumonu, and Rasheedat Ajibade were at the forefront of the attacking line.

The first half was tightly contested, with both teams unable to break the deadlock.

But as the game progressed, the Super Falcons gained momentum, especially after Oshoala's introduction.

Nigeria's situation improved even further when England's star player, Lauren James, was sent off with a red card due to a reckless challenge. Much of the pre-match hype had been around James, who had a hand in five of the Three Lionesses' six goals against China.

However, despite having a numerical advantage, Nigeria could not capitalise on it during regulation time or extra time. The match ultimately came down to the dreaded penalty shootout.

Unfortunately, luck was not on the side of the former African champions, as Desire Oparanozie and Michelle Alozie missed their kicks, leaving the team in a vulnerable position.

Although Ajibade and Christy Ucheibe found the back of the net from the spot, England's precision prevailed as they confidently converted four of their kicks.

With this victory, England advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament, leaving the Super Falcons heartbroken and ending their World Cup journey.

For Nigeria, this marks a disappointing end to their campaign, as they have now failed to reach the last eight of the Women's World Cup for 14 years, with their last appearance dating back to 1999.

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