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2023WWC: Nnadozie’s Heroics Save Resolute Nigeria Against Canada

The Canadians were on the ascendency in the game, with their attacking powerhouse piling immense pressure on the Nigerians.


Super Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie dives during Nigeria’s group B game against Canada at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Thursday, July 20, 2023.

 

Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie saved a second-half penalty to earn Nigeria a point against Canada in a Group B game at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup early Friday.

The match ended goalless after 90 minutes.

The Canadians were on the ascendency in the game, with their attacking powerhouse piling immense pressure on the Nigerians.

Christine Sinclair made the first attempt at goal but her 9th-minute curler went wide. Nigeria responded but Ifeoma Onumonu’s 23rd-minute attempt was parried away for a corner.

Minutes later, Francisca Ordega fouled Christine Sinclair with the veteran stepping up to take the resultant spot kick. But the Nigeria goalie dived correctly to her left to save the 50th-minute penalty and deny the Olympic champions from taking the lead.

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Both sides attempted to take the lead but none could break the deadlock as the game ended goalless in the first half.

On the resumption of the second half, the North Americans surged forward in search of a goal, with waves of attacks against Randy Waldrum’s girls.

Although Nigeria could have snatched a goal, Onumonu’s close-range effort from Uchenna Kanu’s cross was saved before the flag went off for offside.

Tosin Demehin saved Nigeria’s blushes with five minutes to go after she blocked Canada’s goal-bound shot. But in the 98th minute, the Super Falcons were reduced to ten players after Deborah Abiodun was given a straight red card following a tackle on a Canadian.

Nnadozie’s feat deservedly earned her the Player of the Match gong.

In the other Group B game, co-hosts Australia defeated debutants Ireland 1-0 to go top of the lot. The Falconets will now play the Austrians in their next game on July 27th.