Nigeria achieved another surprising result on Thursday at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, stunning co-hosts Australia in Brisbane for a 3-2 victory in action from Group B. Uchenna Kanu equalized for the Super Falcons just before halftime before goals from Osinachi Ohale and Asisat Oshoala moved Nigeria beyond reach. Nigeria are group leaders with four points before their final Group B clash against Ireland on Monday.
Australia were backed by vocal support at the Suncorp Stadium and the Matildas appeared to be in control. The hosts had several opportunities from corner kicks in the first half but brave Nigerian defending and another excellent performance from goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie kept the match level.
The Matildas did take the lead at the beginning of first half stoppage time when Nnadozie’s pass towards the midfield was intercepted to spark a quick break that ended with Emily van Egmond’s finish from a Caitlin Foord cross. However the Super Falcons found a crucial equalizer in the final moments of the half when a shot attempt from the left wing by Rasheedat Ajibade was deflected to the far post where Kanu volleyed in.
Kanu’s stunning leveler set the stage for a second half revival. In the 65th minute Nigeria took the lead after a corner kick was nodded by Michelle Alozie to Ajibade whose header on goal was parried by Australia goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold into the path of Ohale who applied the finish. Substitute Oshoala made it a two-goal lead seven minutes later by sneaking in to intercept Alanna Kennedy’s header towards goal and finish after rounding Arnold.
Australia made a desperate push to level with hopeful passes into the Nigerian penalty area causing issues. Kennedy pulled one back by rising to head in at the far post from a Kyra Cooney-Cross corner kick but it was too little too late for the hosts who now need to defeat Canada to advance.
Click the link below to watch highlights from the match.