Journalism in the service of society

FIFAWWC: Super Falcons survive penalty, red card to hold Canada

THE Super Falcons of Nigeria emerged with a creditable 0-0 draw against Canada in their opening Group B fixture of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Melbourne, Australia in the early hours of today.

Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was the heroine for the nine-time African champions, while Deborah Abiodun was sent off late on.

After a sloppy start in which Olympic champions Canada were dominant, Nigeria grew into the game and made it a proper contest.

The defence of Ashleigh Plumptre, Osinachi Ohale, Tosin Demehin and Michelle Alozie held firm, not giving away many chances to the Canadians.

Abiodun, until her late dismissal, stood out in central midfield along with Christy Ucheibe as they screened the defence.

The Super Falcons were however not as impressive in attack as Asisat Oshoala and Ifeoma Onumonu did not get good service, and fluffed the few opportunities they had.

The tight first half ended with just one shot on target, Onumonu’s low effort that forced a smart save from Kailen Sheridan in the Canadian goal.

The second half went much the way of the first, Canada starting strong and Nigerian responding.

Canada had the best chance of the game when they were awarded a penalty early in the second period for a foul by Francesca Ordega after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.

However, Nnadozie produced a magnificent save to prevent veteran Christine Sinclair from giving Canada a 51st minute lead, and the goalkeeper quickly got up to stop the 40-year-old from tapping home the rebound.

Nnadozie’s big stop gave Randy Waldrum’s side a bit of a lift but, ultimately, they did not do enough to earn all three points.

The only blemish on an otherwise solid performance was Abiodun’s red card in the eighth minute of stoppage time, which was awarded for a dangerous challenge on Ashley Lawrence after another VAR review.

The Super Falcons next take on co-hosts Australia in Brisbane on July 27.

Comments are closed.

Naija Times