In a stunning turn of events at the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Nigeria delivered a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over co-hosts Australia.
The Super Falcons showcased their grit and determination, with goals from Uchenna Kanu, Osinachi Ohale, and Asisat Oshoala propelling them to a memorable win.
Here, Soccernet.ng presents five key takeaways from this exhilarating encounter.
1. Uchenna Kanu’s Rising Stature
Stepping into the starting lineup as a replacement for Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu proved herself as a capable deputy.
The US-based forward made her mark by scoring her first-ever World Cup goal, breaking Nigeria’s goal drought since Oshoala’s strike in the 2-0 triumph over Korea Republic in 2019.
Kanu’s performance demands more playing time and attention from the team management, even if it means replacing Ifeoma Onumonu in the first eleven.
2. Randy Waldrum’s Impact
Randy Waldrum’s work with the Super Falcons came to fruition in this World Cup clash, particularly evident in their resilient defensive shape.
The team displayed discipline when out of position and executed an impressive pressing game. Waldrum must also be applauded for his bold yet effective choice with Demehin in the centre-back role.
The American gaffer’s tactical acumen deserves commendation, as Nigeria held their ground against Australia’s relentless pressure.
3. Oshoala, a Nigerian Icon
Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, only half-fit, once again showcased her importance to the Nigerian squad.
Despite only passing a late fitness test and starting from the bench, Oshoala came on to inject fresh vigour into the Super Falcons’ attack.
She not only played a vital role in providing the corner that led to Nigeria’s second goal but also scored the decisive third.
Oshoala thus becomes the first African player to score at three Women’s World Cups.
With three World Cup goals under her belt, in addition to five Africa Women Player of the Year awards, Oshoala has undoubtedly etched her name in history as Nigeria’s greatest footballer.
4. Super Falcons: The Pride of Africa
Nigeria’s remarkable win over Australia marks their fifth victory in World Cup history, making them the African nation with the most wins in the tournament.
This triumph also stands as the first victory by any African nation in the current edition of the Women’s World Cup.
Additionally, it was the first time the Super Falcons staged a comeback from behind to secure a win at the global event. Their 11 winners’ medals at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations further solidify their status as Africa’s premier team.
5. A Glimpse of Advancement
With this impressive win, the Super Falcons have secured their position at the top of Group B, ahead of Canada, who clinched a 2-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland.
Australia, with three points, and debutants Ireland, yet to claim any points, face an uphill battle.
Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Nigeria look poised to secure a place in the next round with a potential win over Ireland in their final group match.