Nigeria and Canada played out a draw in their opening game of the Women’s 2023 World Cup
The Super Falcons and their counterparts from CONCACAF, Canada, played out a goalless draw in their first game at the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand Soccernet.ng reports
The pivotal clash between the two footballing nations took place at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne on Friday morning
Randy Waldrum’s side showed spirited efforts and determination to earn the vital point despite the wage and bonus row with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which has been dominating the headlines ahead of the start of the tournament.
After co-host Australia had beaten the Republic of Ireland earlier in the group opener, the match was important for both teams’ aspirations to reach the competition’s knockout stage.
Canada were the favorites going into the match and expected to dominate the contest, but things did not go according to plan, as the Falcons stood toe-to-toe with them to frustrate them for a larger part of the game.
Bev Priestman side’s dominated possession early in the first half but struggled to create any clear-cut chance.
The first half ended with one shot on target, and it came from Nigeria’s Onumonu’s shot from out of the box.
Canada started the second half with a more aggressive approach and had a golden opportunity to take the lead with a penalty in the 50th minute, but the team’s best player and all-time scorer, Christine Sinclair, missed the spot after a fabulous save from Chiamaka Nnadozie.
🏴FULL TIME! in Melbourne 📍
Nigeria 🇳🇬 0-0 Canada 🇨🇦
We made a brave start to our ninth campaign on the global stage with a draw against the Olympics champions despite finishing the encounter with 10 players in Melbourne 📍#NGACAN #FIFAWWC #SoarSuperFalcons pic.twitter.com/FZikeh90Sz
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) July 21, 2023
The missed penalty did not stop Canada from pushing forward, but their ineffectiveness to create anything in the final third, as well as the Falcons’ impressive defense, limited their chances.
Unable to find a way to breach the Super Falcons’ defense despite their attacking-minded, Canada Struggled as time went on, as Nigeria deployed a defensive approach and focused on getting a draw, an approach that proved successful despite a late sent-off to Deborah Abiodun.
Taking a point against the Olympic Champions in their first game should serve as a confidence booster for the Falcons going further into the tournament.
Nigeria will vie to earn another positive result in their next game against one of the co-hosts, Australia, in six days, while Canada will play against the Republic of Ireland in their second game.