Asisat Oshoala and an own goal by Do-Yeon Kim earned Nigeria their first win at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Oshoala turned in a player of the match performance as the Super Falcons defeated South Korea 2-0 on Wednesday in Grenoble to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
After suffering a 3-0 loss to Norway in their opening game and in dire need of a win against a Korean side who also went down 4-0 to France in their opening match, the African champions went ahead on the half-hour mark courtesy of an own goal.
Nigeria started on the back foot as Korea piled pressure on the defence that sat back. The defence was resolute as it held its frame despite missing the injured Faith Michael who was replaced by Chidinma Okeke.
Nigeria’s lucky break came in the 29th minute from Do-Yeon’s embarrassing own goal. After a long ball from deep in Nigeria’s half, the defender trying to clear the danger volleyed past the onrushing goalkeeper Kim Minjung. There was a bit of controversy whether the ball hit the arm of captain Desire Oparanozie. The decision went to VAR that confirmed that Oparanozie didn’t touch the ball on its way in.
After the opening game loss, Coach Thomas Dennerby tried to plug the leaky midfield by bringing in Chinaza Uchendu for Halimatu Ayinde. He also made a major change between the sticks handing 18-year old Chiamaka Nnadozie her World Cup debut in place of the more experienced Tochukwu Oluehi’s place.
Nnadozie made an early error in the 3rd minute due to jitters but improved as the game wore on, producing important saves that ensure Nigeria had a clean sheet. After the game, she called it a dream that came true for her, keeping a clean sheet at the World Cup.
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