Nigeria have qualified for the next round of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia after playing out a goalless with the Republic of Ireland in their last Group B match played inside the Brisbane Stadium, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
The Super Falcons are through to the Round of 16 as Group B runners-up courtesy of the draw.
It is the first time in the history of the Mundial that an African team will navigate through the group stage without a defeat.
In their final Group B game, Nigeria faced winless Ireland with the Super Falcons eyeing a spot in the knockout stage.
Ireland, having performed well against Australia and Canada, aimed to secure their first World Cup points against Nigeria.
The match kicked off with both teams trying to find their rhythm. Ireland had an early chance in the 5th minute when Agg made a good run down the right and crossed to Farrelly, but McCabe’s shot went wide.
Nigeria allowed Ireland to have possession and looked to counter-attack.
In the 13th minute, Ireland lost focus, and a mistake from Louise Quinn allowed Oshoala to break through on goal.
Ireland despite dominating possession failed to penetrate the Nigerian defence line until the 32nd minute when Kyra sent a header straight at Chiamaka Nnadozie.
There was no breakthrough in the first half and so it finished Ireland 0-0 Nigeria.
In the second half, the Super Falcons showed more intensity, knowing that Australia were leading against Canada in the other group game.
Their efforts paid off in the 51st minute when Payne delivered a cross, and Kanu’s powerful header was tipped onto the bar by Brosnan.
Nigeria took charge from them on, Toni Payne pulling the strings from the midfield but the Irish backline was up and doing to complement the perfect goalkeeping.
With the clock ticking away, the Nigerian ladies were comfortable seeing out the point to book a 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup last 16 place.
The Super Falcons will play the winners of Group D – it looks likely to be England – in the first knockout round of the World Cup.