Chiamaka Nnadozie, Unlikely Heroine For Super Falcons of Nigeria In World Cup Opener

Nigerian Keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was the Heroine as the Super Falcons of Nigeria earned a point after a scoreless draw in their opening FIFA Women's World Cup game against Canada. 

Chiamaka Nnadozie, Unlikely Heroine For Super Falcons of Nigeria In World cup opener
 Nigeria Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, Celebrates with Teammates After Saving Christine Sinclair's Penalty 

Chiamaka Nnadozie, Unlikely Heroine For Super Falcons of Nigeria in World cup opener

The opening Group B encounter at the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand was played in the early hours of Friday 21st July at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Australia . 

The opening 15 minutes of the game were dominated by Canada, as they controlled possession and pinned the Super Falcons of Nigeria to their own half. 

Canadian Captain Christine Margaret Sinclair, appearing in Her 6th world Cup dictated proceedings as fellow Nigerian Veteran Onome Ebi, the FIFA Women's World Cup's oldest ever player could only watch from the bench. 

The first shot for the Super Falcons came in the 22nd minute when Barcelona Female forward Asisat  Oshoala initiated a counter that led to shot from Ifeoma Onumonu tingest goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan of Canada. 

Despite the numerous threats from the Canadian team, the experienced defense line of Coach Randy Waldrum seemed difficult to breach. 

The Super Falcons tried to make use of long passes, crosses, and corners as a means of countering the Canadian's possession-based approach as the game went to half time scoreless.

iChiamaka Nnadozie, Unlikely Heroine For Super Falcons of Nigeria In World Cup Opener
Chiamaka Nnadozie, With Woman of The Match Trophy After Nigeria/Canada FIFA World Cup Match

Half time Statistics

Procession: Nigeria 32% - Canada 68%

Shots: Nigeria 07 - Canada 05 

The turning point of the game came a few minutes into the second half as a foul by Francisca Ordega on Margaret Sinclair sent the Finnish referee Lina Lehtovaara to the video assistant referee(VAR) screen and awarded a penalty for Canada. 

Unfortunately for the Veteran, the athletic goalkeeper for Nigeria Chiamaka Nnadozie was able to throw herself to the left side of the goal and knock out the penalty. 

Cheered on by their vibrant fans, the Super Falcons maintained their shape, limiting the Canadian attack to only half chances.

Eight minutes into added time,  Finnish referee Lina Lehtovaarato revisited the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)and upgraded a yellow card into a red card for Nigeria midfielder Deborah Abiodun, after reviewing a foul she committed.

The super Falcons put up a solid performance, taking a point off Group B favourites, a result which will please the West African Nation going into their next game against Co-hosts Australia next Thursday.

Nigeria currently sit 3rd in group B, two points behind next week's opponents, Australia. 

The top two in each group qualify for the next stage of the competition

Up Next for Nigeria

  • Nigeria Vs Australia  (27/07/2023)
  • Nigeria Vs Republic of Ireland (31/07/2023)

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