Matildas fall short to Nigeria in shocking 3-1 loss at the Women's World Cup
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Nigeria has recorded a historic 3-1 victory over host nation Australia at the Women’s World Cup.
Matildas took to Game Two of their World Cup campaign against Nigeria without the likes of Sam Kerr, Mary Fowler, and Aivi Luik.
Meanwhile, the Super Falcons had played out a goalless draw against Canada in the opening game of their World Cup campaign and were looking to get the first points of the tournament.
The early stages of the game saw both sides struggle to really put a dent in the other’s defence, with both feeling each other out.
Steph Catley had the best chance of the early parts of the game, cutting in from the right to fire a left-footed strike that was saved by Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Hayley Raso also came agonisingly close in the 30th minute after a corner from Steph Catley found its way to the back post.
The winger was unable to bundle the ball over the line, narrowly missing.
Midfield duo Kyra Cooney-Cross and Katrina Gorry dictated the majority of the pace in the first half as Nigeria struggled to contain the two.
It took until the 45th minute for Emily van Egmond to break the deadlock after a brilliant ball into the box from Caitlin Foord found its way to Australia’s number 10.
Van Egmond had come into the game with a point to prove after missing out on the starting lineup in the first game.
EMILY VAN EGMONDDDDDD!!!— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 27, 2023
Matildas hit the front and what a finish it is 😍
Cool as you like and she runs straight to Sam Kerr in celebration!
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She capped off her first-half performance with a classy finish to give Matildas the lead.
However, their lead did not last long as Nigeria hit back right on the brink of halftime with Uchenna Kanu equalising following a swift counterattack.
It was a fiery end to a half full of chances.
Both teams had their chances early into the second half, but it took until the 65th minute for Nigeria to take control of the game.
Osinachi Ohale gave the Super Falcons the lead, bundling the ball over the line while copping a stray boot to the chest in the process.
Osinachi Ohale gives Nigeria the lead! 😱— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 27, 2023
The Nigerian sneaks in at the back post and catches Australia out.
Matildas with work to do, now.
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Nigeria then added to their lead after a communication mishap between Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold gave way for Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala to make it 3-1.
A late goal courtesy of a header from Alanna Kennedy gave the side hope that a comeback was on but the African side held on to secure a historic victory.
Tony Gustavsson's side fought until the end but it wasn’t meant to be.
Australia will now go into their final group game against Canada needing a result in order to make it into the knockout stages of a World Cup on their home soil.