England will face Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
After battling to a goalless draw in their opening Group B match against Canada, with goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie saving a spot-kick, Nigeria stunned Australia with a memorable 3-2 victory in Brisbane.
Randy Waldrum’s side then secured progress into the knockout phase as group runners-up when they drew 0-0 against the Republic of Ireland.
American coach Waldrum has highlighted the chemistry and bond within the squad as key to their success so far.
Having fought their way out of arguably one of the toughest pools, expect more of the same determination with Waldrum often utilising a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation to maximise impact as Nigeria aim for what would be a first win in the Women’s World Cup knockout stage.
A team-mate of England defender Lucy Bronze at Barcelona, midfielder Asisat Oshoala opened her 2023 World Cup account with what proved to be the winner against Australia.
Earlier in her career the 28-year-old had spells in England with Liverpool and Arsenal, winning the 2016 FA Cup with the latter.
Following a move to Barcelona from Chinese club Dalian, Oshoala – a five-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year – went on to win the Champions League as well as the Primera Division title.
Nigeria coach Waldrum is in no doubt about the impact she can make, saying: “When you have Oshoala, you have a chance against any team.”
England’s first meeting with Nigeria ironically came in the FIFA Women’s World Cup of 1995, when the nations met in a group stage game in Karlstad, Sweden which ended in a 3-2 win.
Since then, England have hosted Nigeria in friendly internationals on home soil, losing both.
You can find details of our last three games below…
England 0-3 Nigeria
22 April 2004
Madejski Stadium, Reading FC
The scoreline certainly flattered the Super Falcons on this occasion, as a first-half goal from Rita Nwadike against the run of play gave them the lead before a brace from the impressive Perpetual Nkwocha after the break condemned Hope Powell’s team to defeat in front of over 4000 fans in Reading.
England 0-1 Nigeria
23 July 2002
Carrow Road, Norwich City FC
A summer friendly in Norwich saw Nigeria run out as narrow winners in 2002, with Florence Omagbemi scoring the winner for the Super Falcons.
England 3-2 Nigeria
10 June 1995
It was a brace from Karen Farley and a goal from Karen Walker which secured victory for the Lionesses in their first-ever Women’s World Cup campaign in 1995, when the teams met in their final group game in Sweden.