Women’s World Cup: Nigeria beat Australia 3-2 to record first win


Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Thursday came from a goal down to hand FIFA Women’s World Cup co-host, Australia, a crushing 3-2 defeat at the Lang Park Stadium in Brisbane.

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Emily van Egmond had put the Matildas in front in the first minute of first half added time. But just when it seemed like the Aussies were going to go into the break ahead, Uchenna Kalu restored parity for the Nigerians in the fifth minute of first half stoppage time.

Osinachi Ohale then put the Super Falcons in front on 65 minutes before Asisat Oshoala, who came into the fray as a 64th minute substitute, capitalized on a mix-up in the Matildas’ backline to make it 3-1 for the Super Falcons.

Alanna Kennedy then pulled one back for Australia in the 10th minute of second half stoppage time but it was too little too late for the World Cup co-host.

It was the first time in World Cup history that Africa’s most successful national team would be coming from behind to win a game at women’s football’s biggest stage.

The 90th minute introduction of Onome Ebi meant that the 40-year-old Nigerian defender became the second oldest player to appear at the World Cup.

The oldest player is Brazil’s Formiga, who lined up against France in 2019 aged 41 years 112 days.

The Super Falcons now need only a draw to guarantee their spot in the knockout rounds, while Australia will need to beat Canada to advance.

The Nigerian female beat their opponent to record their first win in the competition and the fifth win in the history of the Women’s World Cup.

The nine-time African champions have recorded only four wins in the history of the competition – two at the 1999 edition (against North Korea and Denmark), against Canada in 2011, and at the 2019 edition, where they also recorded a 2-0 win over North Korea.

With the win, the Super Falcon’s chance of reaching the round of 16 have been boosted after Canada secured a 2-1 victory against Ireland on Wednesday.

In their opening match at the tournament, the Falcons displayed defensive prowess, including goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie saving a penalty, to secure a commendable point.

In their only previous Women’s World Cup meeting in 2015, Australia emerged victorious with a 2-0, but this time, the Falcons have settled the score.