Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie helped Nigeria safe a beneficial 0-0 draw towards Olympic champions Canada of their Ladies’s World Cup opener on Friday in a outcome that threw their group large open.
Nnadozie saved a penalty within the fiftieth minute at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, denying Christine Sinclair from the spot with a leap low to her left because the Canada skipper missed out on turning into the primary participant to attain in six World Cups.
The groups have been left with a degree every, trailing Group B leaders Australia by two following the co-hosts’ 1-0 win over Eire on Thursday.
Either side had their possibilities however Sinclair, who got here off within the seventieth minute, was maybe essentially the most pissed off, having additionally missed a superb alternative when she fired large within the ninth minute.
Nigeria barely breached the ultimate third within the second half however defended desperately to carry the Canadians out to the end.
After the ultimate whistle, Nnadozie slumped to her knees and pumped her fists whereas roaring in celebration.
Nigeria’s pleasure was tempered by a crimson card handed out to midfielder Deborah Abiodun deep in stoppage time. She’s going to miss their subsequent recreation towards Australia.
Canada dominated possession and it was not lengthy earlier than Nigeria have been opened up, with Sinclair discovering house on the sting of the realm and blasting large of the appropriate put up.
Nigeria belatedly discovered their groove and commenced chiselling away on the Canadian defence down the left flank.
Ifeoma Onumonu unloaded from lengthy vary within the twenty third minute, forcing goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan right into a diving save on the far put up.
Jordyn Huitema fired again for Canada minutes later with a superb probability within the field however headed properly large.
The scrappiness continued, with Sheridan charging off her line 10 minutes from the break and lacking the ball with a clearing kick to present Nigeria a glimpse at aim.
However Asisat Oshoala’s cross on the close to put up was blocked and each groups went to the break pissed off.
Canada’s frustration spiked shortly after the interval as Sinclair was introduced down within the field by Francisca Ordega, the penalty awarded by VAR.
However Nnadozie blocked Sinclair’s tepid spot kick to set off an enormous roar from Nigerian followers.
One other Canadian probability went begging when substitute Evelyne Viens latched onto a header within the space however volleyed straight into the arms of the Nigerian keeper because the Africans stood agency to the end.
The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week interval ending on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the spherical of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.
The quarter-finals, which will likely be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The primary semi-final will then be performed on August 15 in Auckland, with the opposite semi-final happening on August 16 on the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which can then host the ultimate on August 20.
A 3rd-place play-off will likely be performed the day earlier than the ultimate on August 19 in Brisbane.