The Barcelona star was unfit to play the entire 90 minutes, so she had to start from the bench
Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum has revealed that he told Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala that she could be the match-winner against Australia, Soccernet reports.
Nigeria shocked Australia and the rest of the world after a remarkable performance that saw them claim a 3-2 victory over the World Cup co-hosts.
The nine-time African champions were the underdogs going into the game because of their poor record on the world stage and recent administration issues. To add to coach Waldrum’s problems, Oshoala was not fit to start the game.
However, the team showed spirit and zest to match the Matildas’ attacking firepower with a strong defensive performance. But unlike in their first game against Canada, the team was more dangerous in the attack.
After the hosts broke the deadlock in stoppage time of the first half, Uchenna Kanu equalised seconds later.
The floodgates were eventually opened in the second half. Australia started well, but Nigeria soon gained their feet.
Super Falcons boss Waldrum then introduced Oshoala into the game in the 62nd minute, and she made an immediate impact. She caused the corner that led to Osinachi Ohale’s 65th-minute goal, and seven minutes later, she capitalized on a mix-up in the Australian backline and scored the third for Nigeria.
Oshoala was a constant threat, and her impact was just wonderful. Speaking after the game, Waldrum admitted that he had a feeling that the former Arsenal Ladies star would work wonders for the team.
What Waldrum said:
“I told Oshoala before the match that I needed her to give us the last thirty minutes. I felt very strongly she was going to get a goal, and she got the game-winning goal.”
With her goal, Oshoala is now the only African woman to score in three different World Cups.