The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway in the host nations of Australia and New Zealand and the Nigeria women’s national football team have been in action. The Super Falcons vs Canada women promised much excitement and somewhat lived up to expectations.
For the Super Falcons, their first group stage game was against the Canada Maple Leafs, an opponent who they are familiar with.
History has not been kind to the Super Falcons in this tie but on the biggest stage of them all, the Randy Waldrum-led team were able to seal a goalless draw to grab an important result in Group B to snag one point.
The match had a number of interesting moments. See them below.
🏴FULL TIME! in Melbourne 📍
Nigeria 🇳🇬 0-0 Canada 🇨🇦
We made a brave start to our ninth campaign on the global stage with a draw against the Olympics champions despite finishing the encounter with 10 players in Melbourne 📍#NGACAN #FIFAWWC #SoarSuperFalcons pic.twitter.com/FZikeh90Sz
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) July 21, 2023
Nigeria 0-0 Canada: The match as it happened
Randy Waldrum put out his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation with many of the usual suspects starting the game.
Undisputed number 1 Chiamaka Nnadozie manned the goal for the Super Falcons. She was shielded by Osinachi Ohale and Tosin Demehin. Ashleigh Plumptre and Michelle Alozie manned the defensive wings. Christy Ucheibe paired the home-based Deborah Abiodun at the base of the midfield.
Ifeoma Onumonu and Francisca Ordega played on the wings with Toni Payne covering the attacking midfield position.
Barcelona Femeni forward Asisat Oshoala was the lone striker upfront. It was a quiet night for her in front of goal thanks to the lack of service she was made to endure.
Nigeria made sure to show their keeper Nnadozie the love after her penalty save helped them earn a point against Canada 🤗 pic.twitter.com/Y4SaZLShOZ
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 21, 2023
However, the Super Falcons had the only shot on target in the first half, thanks to a wonderful long-range drive from Onumonu which was expertly parried away by Canada’s Kailen Sheridan.
The second half started on a scary note for Nigeria when veteran Ordega gave away a penalty in the opening minutes of the half. Canada’s Christine Sinclair stepped up to take her international goals tally to 191 from the spot but the 40-year-old was denied by a brilliant Nnadozie.
Both teams traded weak blows for the rest of the match and it got tense when Abiodun saw a red card in the 98th minute for a terrible lunge at Canada fullback Ashley Lawrence. The Super Falcons held on for the remaining two minutes for their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup goalless draw.
Rivers Angels's Deborah Abiodun first half performance against Canada.
— Leagues Reporter (@LeaguesReporter) July 21, 2023
They will now turn their attention to preparing for their meeting with hosts Australia on 27 July as they look to get out of their group for only the third time since their debut at the first-ever women’s World Cup.
Moments from Super Falcons vs Canada
Many interesting moments were captured by the photographers on duty at the Group B opener of the Super Falcons and the Maple Leafs. See some of them below.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago