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Nigeria at brink of next round after stunning Australia 3-2 at Women’s World Cup



FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Group B - Australia v Nigeria - Brisbane Football Stadium, Brisbane, Australia - July 27, 2023 Australia's Alanna Kennedy looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Dan Peled

Super Falcons fought gamely and defeated co-hosts, Australia 3-2 in their second match of the Women’s World Cup. What a fate for the two co-hosts – New Zealand and Australia as both have now lost their second matches in the series after winning the first.

What a pleasant twist of fate forthe Super Falcons as they fought from a goal down to surprisingly take an initial 3-1 lead which was later reduced in an extended 12 minute added time.

It is the first major shock of the competition. The win in front of a huge crowd at Lang Park put Nigeria top of Group B level with Canada on four points but ahead on goal difference. The 11-time African champions play eliminated Ireland in their last group match.

Levelling at 1-1 with the last shot of the first half, it turned to be the first time in 18 matches of the World Cup that the team scored in the first half.

Asisat Oshoala volleyed into an open goal in the 72nd minute to seal a deserved win for the Africans after Uchenna Kanu cancelled out Emily van Egmond’s opener on the cusp of halftime and Osinachi Ohale nudged Nigeria ahead after the break.


Australia cut the deficit to one goal when Alanna Kennedy nodded home a header in the 10th minute of stoppage time but Nigeria rode out the final seconds to claim one of their finest wins in their ninth appearance at the global showpiece.

Australia must now beat Canada in their last match to qualify for the last 16 at a tournament where they fancied themselves among the chief title threats.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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