Nigeria's female national football team Super Falcons pose for a group photo before the final of Aisha Buhari Invitational tournament at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos state, Nigeria Sept. 21, 2021. South Africa's female national football team Banyana Banyana on Tuesday night emerged champions of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women's Tournament after defeating the Super Falcons of Nigeria 4-2 in the last game. (Photo by Emma Houston/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Women’s World Cup: Nigeria, Canada, share points

Women’s World Cup: Nigeria, Canada, share points

● Super Falcons goalie wins Player of the Match award

By Jonas Happy 

Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal for the Super Falcons stops Christine Sinclair’s well taken penalty kick.


The defending Olympic Champions, Canada and Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Africa’s female soccer powerhouse, on Friday got off to a good start at the group stage of the Women’s World Cup.

Playing before a crowd of football fans in Melbourne, Australia, the Nigerians who have always kept bookmakers guessing held the rampaging Canadians to a barren draw.

Not even a penalty awarded to the well rated Canadians in the 50th minute of the encounter could change the scoreline.

Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian side who took the kick was unable to beat a fellow captain in goal.

Nigeria had come slowly but steadily into the game. The Canadians had earlier revved forward, looking for an opening to put the Super Falcons on the backfoot.

Obviously, it was the Nigerians, strong in defense with a midfield that kept the North American invaders at bay, who held the Canadians to a scoreless draw, not without an attacking effort of their own.

Canada by any stretch of the imagination was not expected to be a mere walk over for the Nigerians, given their pedigree.

But against the Super Falcons, the Canadian side has never been triumphant in the field of play.

Friday, Canada failed again to beat Nigeria which in the build up towards the Women’s competition  showed great promise.

Both sides head for the next round of qualifying matches in the group stage with a point apiece.

Player of the match;

Chiamaka Nnadozie holds up the trophy for the best player of the match in the presence of the press.

Super Falcons goalie, Chiamaka Nnadozie who shone like a million stars in goal, was perhaps the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, frustrating every attempt by Canada to snatch a win and the three points at stake.

At the end of the encounter, Nnadozie was named the Player of the Match against the backdrop of her impressive performance.

Both sides who are drawn in Group B have met three times in the past. Statistics show Nigeria has won one and drawn two.

As the Falcons continue their campaign to bring honour, and Nigerians come solidly behind them at home and in the diaspora, Nigeria’s emerging female ‘field marshal’, Nnadozie would be remembered in football history for the crucial goalless draw against Canada.

Nnadozie, the Punch reports, “put up a five-star display and capped it up by saving a penalty kick taken by Canada captain, 40-year-old Christine Sinclair.

“The 22-year-old performance secured the Nigerian female team a point in the Super Falcons’ third meeting with the Olympic champions Canada at the senior Women’s World Cup.”

Observers say the big winner after the first matches played in the group stage is Australia.

Australia leads the group and now has a clearer path of winning it.

But they also have to factor in the fact that neither of these teams, Nigeria or Canada, will be easy to hold off.

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