Nigeria’s Super Falcons were defeated yesterday by their France counterparts 0-1 in the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in Roazhon Park, Rennes.
Nigeria came into the tie having lost their opening game in Group A 0-3 to Norway but bounced back with a 2-0 convincing win over South Korea while the host, France, won their first games against South Korea and Norway respectively.
An early opportunity came for Super Falcon in the 4th minute as Desire Oparanozie header forced a save from Sarah Bouhaddi, but the keeper did rise to the challenge to prevent an early goal.
The host country came close to score the opening goal as Valerie Gauvin gets a free header in the box but failed to get above the ball which didn’t trouble Chiamaka Nnadozie.
France proved to be the better side but lack the cutting edge heading to the dressing room with the score level as both had no shot on target at the end of the first 45 minutes.
At the restart of the second half both team came in with more determine to run away with the vital points as the Les Bleues continue to heap more pressure on the Super Falcons defense which saw France awarded a penalty as Ngozi Ebere was given a marching order for bringing down Asseyi Viviane after a video assistant referee (VAR) check.
France finally breaks the deadlock in the 79th minute as Renard stepped up from the spot again, to buried her right-footed shot into the top-right corner, above an outstretched Nnadozie to give France a 100 per cent record in the group stages with three victories.
France finished as Group A winners with 9 point and followed by Norway with 6 point while Nigeria is in third with 3 point and South Korea are bottom without a point.
The defending Africa champions will wait to know their fate today if they will qualify to the round of 16 as one of the best losers at the end of last group fixtures.
Speaking after the game Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dennerby bemoaned the referee decision for the retake of the penalty, but described his player as “hero” having to showcase an impressive performance against the highly rated and title favourites French side.