Falcons Draw With Ireland

Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Monday at the Brisbane Stadium strolled into their third ever knockout stage of the Women’s World Xup with a rather disappointing barren draw against hard fighting Irish girls in green who with their white Jersey matched Nigeria moment for moment.

At the other group match, the Aussie Babes turned the table with a brilliant 3-0 knock of Canada at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

Nigeria fielded Oshoala from the start this time and she missed scoring by the gap of the skin of the tooth twice before she was pulled out in the second half. Kanu too shot blank making fans to shout on top of their voices, GIVE US ONE GOAL! Which was what Nigeria needed to top Group B but for the first time, Nigeria was not defeated in their group game.

I report that it was no imported Irish potatoes and chicken for the Falcons (except Jos potatoes), who celebrated moderately moment Ref. Katia Garcia of Mexico blew the final whistle compared with Australians who jumped on each other the moment Ref. Stephaine Frappart of France blew her final whistle.

Nigeria had lost six of their previous outings of the final group games except beating Denmark with 2-0 in 1999 and Canada 1-0 in 2011.

The Nigerian coach was full of encomium for his players, saying things were not right initially, but the players were resilient not losing a single game, adding that he was unmoved facing either England or Denmark next.

Asked how he would celebrate with his girls without imported Irish potatoes, the coach winked probably because he was with his players at a street Buka in Brisbane yesterday where an Akwa Ibom Chef gave the players and officials Fufu also called Akpu with draw soup and Okporoko also called Mangala in South-East of Nigeria.

Australia was brilliant with Hayley Raso of Real Madrid opening the goals account against Canada in the 9th minute as a Catley cross found her smoking and VAR check said no offside. Raso scored again through a goal mouth melee and Raso slammed it in 37th minute but VAR ruled it off. She collected a pass sent to Sheridan who dilly dally with the ball and got her brace in the 39th minute.

Manchester City player, Mary Fowler scored the 3rd goal for Australia in the 58th minute through Foord who had done well beating the Canadian defence to pass to Fowler for the goal.

Canada and Australia were facing each other for the second time after playing 2-2 in their final group game in 2007. Australia had defeated a CONCACAF team, Jamaica 4-1 in 2019.

Australia had won 1-0 over Ireland and Nigeria drew goalless with Canada in the first round of the group; Canada beat Ireland 2-1 and Nigeria sent Australia to the Rest Room 3-2 in the group second round matches.

Co-hosts Australia is not like New Zealand who are out of the tournament. Australia tops Group B with6 points scoring 6 goals and conceding 3; Nigeria is second chalking 5 points from a win and two draws, scoring 3 goals and conceding 2; Canada has 4 points from a win and a draw scoring 2 goals and conceding 4 while Ireland will avoid dodging in dustbins at Dublin in Ireland for she tried having a draw and scoring a lone goal while conceding 3 to rock the bottom of the group.

Australia faces runners-up of Group D and Nigeria that is second will face winner of group D in the Round of 16 matches.

Tomorrow Tuesday 1st August, group E matches will be concluded at 0800 hours as Vietnam meets Netherlands at Forsyth Barr Stadium and Portugal try the Yankees of USA at Eden Park.

Group D matches will also be decided same tomorrow at 12 noon as the Lionesses of England tackles China at Hindmarsh Stadium and Haiti faces Denmark at NIB Stadium.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.