Women’s World Cup: Nnadozie’s Heroics Keep Nigerian Hopes Alive

By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Heroics from Super Falcons of Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie rescued a point in their 0-0 draw against Olympic champions Canada during their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup encounter, at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Australia.

Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum replaced captain Onome Ebi with debutant Blessing Demehin and another debutant, Deborah Abiodun, replaced the suspended Halimatu Ayinde. In the attack, Ifeoma Onumonu replaced the suspended Rasheedat Ayinde on the left flank.

The Group B clash did not produce many chances or goals in the first half as both sides defended well to ensure no errors at the back.

Early in the second half, the match was brought to life when Canada were awarded a penalty after a careless foul in the area. Canada’s Christine Sinclair stepped up for the spot kick.

Nigerian goalkeeper Nnadozie was the hero after saving Christine Sinclair’s penalty, while reacting well to palm the rebound away to safety.

She also made a handful of other saves that ensured the Super Falcons earned a crucial point ahead of their second group game against co-hosts Australia.

Midfielder Deborah Ajibola Abiodun received a straight red card after VAR deemed her tackle on Canada’s Lawrence deep into extra time as reckless.

However, Canada failed to make the most of the advantage as the match finished 0-0.

 

One of the shining lights in the encounter between nine-time African champions and reigning Olympic champions was Nnadozie, who was named the Player of the Match in the match.

Super Falcons defender Osinachi Ohale insisted that the side could have picked maximum points their opening 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup fixture against Canada.

Despite Canada dominating the contest, Ohale still believes the Super Falcons would have been a deserving winner.

The teams were left with a point each, trailing Group B leaders Australia by two following the co-hosts’ 1-0 win over Ireland on Thursday.

While praising Nnadozie for her essential contribution to Nigeria’s first World Cup point, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum reiterated that she is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world.

Australia are top of Group B after their one-goal victory over debutants Republic of Ireland.

The Super Falcons will next face a tough game against hosts Australia at the Brisbane Stadium on Thursday, July 27th.

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