Super Falcons soar as Oshoala, Kanu & Ohale score to sink co-host Australia
Australia squandered their chance to book a place in the knockout phases of their home World Cup after falling to a surprise 3-2 defeat to stylish Nigeria.
The co-hosts now face an uphill battle to qualify from Group B, with both Nigeria and Canada in pole position to progress – both locked on four points at the top of the standings.
The Aussies, still without captain and lead goal scorer Sam Kerr, lacked any real conviction in front of goal, having failed to capitalize on Emily van Egmond’s well-taken opener – which was immediately cancelled out by a leveler from Chiamaka Nnadozie in first-half stoppage time.
Nigeria came out fired up after the break, and after weathering a brief Australia onslaught, launched their impressive counter-offensive, which served to stun Tony Gustavsson’s side in Brisbane.
Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, on from the bench, teed up Osinachi Ohale to steal the lead, before Oshoala herself benefited from some Australian indecision at the back to slot home in the 72nd minute.
Alanna Kennedy netted a consolation header in injury time, but that wasn’t enough to earn anything from a wonderfully entertaining encounter, and means Australia now need to beat Olympic champions Canada in their concluding Group B match to stand any chance of progression.
Meanwhile, Group B play their final group games on Monday July 31. Nigeria take on the already-knocked out Republic of Ireland while Australia take on Canada.