Nigeria Super Falcons Set To Battle Ireland In Hopes To Remain Top Of Group B, And Avoid England in The Next Round at The On-going FIFA Women's World Cup.

Nigeria are set to face a winless Ireland team in their last game of Group B game at the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The Super Falcons take on Ireland the ‘Girls in Green’ by 11.00 a.m. on Monday at the 52,000 seat Brisbane Stadium, also known as Lang Park and Suncorp Stadium, needing a draw from the encounter to be sure of a place in the knockout stage rounds for just the second time since 1999.

The Brisbane stadium will host eight games including a quarter-final game on August 12, and the third-place play-off on August 19 respectively.

Following a goalless draw against Canada in the opening group game, Nigeria came from behind to defeat co-host Australia 3-2 on Thursday.

The win sees coach Randy Waldrum ladies sit atop the table with four points from two matches, while Ireland have no point having narrowly lost their first two games to Australia and Canada. The Irish have nothing to play for other than pride.

Super Falcons who are 40 in the FIFA ranking, will go into today’s last Group B game against 22 ranked Ireland aware that a win will keep them atop the ladder and away from a possible clash with England in the round of 16 who are expected to win Group D, which also has Denmark, China and Haiti. England have already qualified for the round of 16 after beating Haiti and Denmark in their first two games.

However, the Falcons can only be sent packing from the tournament today if they lose to Ireland and Australia beat Canada (and unfavorable tie-breaker vs. Canada) or they lose against Ireland AND Australia vs Canada ends in a draw (and unfavorable tie-breaker vs. Australia).

On the other hand, one of either Canada or Australia, who are playing in the other groups’ final game, need a win to qualify for the second round.

Canada are second on the log with the same four points as Nigeria, but they have scored fewer goals. So, if they beat Australia, they will qualify alongside Nigeria for the next stage. The Canadians will win Group B if they beat Australia and Nigeria lose or draw with Ireland.

Ireland still playing with something to prove in last game of their debut at the Women’s World Cup, they remain motivated to play for more than just a result against Nigeria on Monday.

Despite pushing two top-10 ranked teams to the limit, a second-half penalty was the difference in Ireland’s 1-0 loss to co-hosts Australia In front of almost 76,000 people in the tournament opener, while they also scored first in their next match against Canada, but two goals from the Olympic champions left the Irish empty-handed once again.

“We still have something to fight for,” midfielder Lily Agg said. 

“That’s our pride, that’s our passion and that’s who we are as Irish players. We’re going to leave it all out there on Monday and, hopefully, do Ireland proud.”

“We can compete with the best, and I think we’ve proven that,” Agg said. “We’ve got so much talent, and it’s now just about making that next step as a team and fighting to win.”

Waldrum told reporters on Sunday that the Super Falcons had shown they were better than that and their FIFA ranking of 40th. The American coach added that having being in one of the toughest groups, the nine-time African champions were not expected to reach the knockout stages for only the third time.

Nigeria is one of only seven countries to have played in every single edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since it started in 1991.

“I would say that we were underestimated and underappreciated,” the 66-year-old said on the eve of their meeting in Brisbane with the Irish.

“Hopefully we’ve proven that to the world right now that we belong in a higher place [than the 40th].”

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