SUPER Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was the heroine today as Paris FC stunned Arsenal to advance in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The Nigeria captain made two brilliant saves during the penalty shootout as Paris defeated the English club 4-2 after full-time and extra-time ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
England forward Alessia Russo scored her first two goals for the Gunners but was one of two Arsenal players whose penalties were saved by Nnadozie as Paris FC progressed to the second qualifying round.
Paris FC were first gave up a 2-0 lead and were also leading 3-2 in extra-time at the Linkoping Arena Football Stadium in Sweden.
Arsenal looked like they might have avoided an upset when they recovered from conceding two goals in as many minutes to Mathilde Bourdieu early in the second half.
Russo, a high-profile summer signing from Manchester United, pulled one back with 10 minutes to go and Jen Beattie headed in an equaliser deep into added time.
Arsenal, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, had to come from behind again in extra-time after Julie Soyer restored the French side’s lead.
Russo, who starred for England as they reached the Women’s World Cup final in August, levell ed again with a great strike from 25 yards.
But Frida Maanum missed a last-gasp golden and the Norwegian and Russo both saw their spot-kicks saved by Nnadozie, who was also one of Nigeria’s heroines at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.