Nigeria's Super Falcons Come From Behind To Shock Co-hosts Australia With A 3-2 Win at The FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Super Falcons of Nigeria continue their quest for a quarter-final ticket at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a big win against co-host Australia in Brisbane.

The Super Falcons produced an excellent display to complete a come-from-behind and record a shock 3-2 win over the Matildas on Thursday at the Brisbane Stadium to move top of the group.

Uchenna Kalu, Osinachi Ohale and Asisat Oshoala were the heroines for the Falcons who held off a barrage of late attacks, preventing an equaliser from the home side.

Nigeria making their seventh appearances at the World Cup, had forced Olympics champions Canada to a 1-1 draw on Friday in their opening Group B clash, as goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie became the hero of the game by saving a decisive penalty and the rebound from Christine Sinclair.

The 9-time African Champions were the only African side to earn a point in the first round as the trio of Zambia, South Africa, and Morocco all suffered defeats.

While Australia managed a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in their opening group stage game.

Coming into the second round of group matches, Australia's coach Tony Gustavssonn had no update on star striker Sam Kerr’s calf injury. He said she would be re-assessed after the Nigeria game and hope she is available before their final Group B match, against Canada on July 31 in Melbourne.

They also had fresh injury concerns, with Kerr’s replacement Mary Fowler out for the clash against Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's coach Randy Waldrum made three changes to the side that started the 1-1 draw against Canada as Uchenna Kanu, Halimat Ayinde, and Rasheedat Ajibade (both returning from suspension) replace Francessa Ordega, Deborah Abiodun (suspended), and Asisat Oshoala.

Barcelona’s superstar striker, Oshoala, who recently won the first treble in the club’s history, started on the bench against Australia having reportedly picked up a knock against Canada.

Australia XI

Arnold, Vine, Catley (c), Foord, Van Egmond, Kennedy, Hunt, Raso, Gorry, Carpenter, Cooney-Cross.

Nigeria XI

Nnadozie, Alozie, Plumptre, Ohale, Demehin, Payne, Ayinde, Uchiebe, Ajibade, Kanu, Onumonu.

Despite the Super Falcons starting well in defense, it was the host Australia, who were again without star striker Sam Kerr, taking the lead through Emily van Egmond in the 45th minute, converting a ball by Foord.

Unfortunately, the lead didn't last long as Nigeria equalised on the stroke of half time after Uchenna Kanu converted from a deflected Ajibade shot.

Both sides went into the break level at 1-1, but in the second half, it was more of the same for the Super Falcons sitting deep and absorbing pressure from the Australians.

From a corner kick a shot by Ajibade was sent the way of Osinachi Ohale who added the second goal within the first 10 minutes into the return (65mins) with a bundled rebound header that was first saved by the Australian goalie.

Oshoala was then subbed on and extended the lead for the Falcons to 3-1.

The five times African Women’s Player of the Year winner and first African woman to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or scored the third goal in the 72nd minute when an Australian defender made a mistake, leaving the Barcelona Femení striker to tap the ball inside an open net.

Australia eventually got a goal back for themselves in injury time through Alanna Kennedy, but was not enough to salvage a draw in front of their fans against a determined Nigerian team.

In the upset of the tournament so far, Nigeria came from behind to take top spot in Group B, leaving Australia behind second-placed Canada ahead of their crunch meeting in Melbourne on Monday.

It's all to play for with Nigeria, Canada and Australia all able to qualify for the knockout stages.

The defeat for Australia, sees their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup in danger, as the hosts will need a must win result against Canada on Monday to reach the last-16.

For the Super Falcons, they have their destiny in their own hands on Monday against Ireland in their final Group B game. A draw will take them to the next round .

We had that belief together we could accomplish great things, says Nigeria's manager Randy Waldrum after the game: “I’m so proud of them (the Nigeria players). I told them after the match no one believes in us, apart from us, and we had that belief together we could accomplish great things, and we did that tonight”.

Waldrum added: “I told Oshoala before the match that I needed her to give us the last thirty minutes. I felt very strongly she was going to get a goal, and she got the game-winning goal, so extremely proud of the effort.

“They [Australia] were throwing everything at us at the end, and the players just repelled everything, and I think it’s just a credit to them to put that kind of effort in, to get this result.”

Oshoala, speaking after the game, said: “Everyone went out to play their heart out.”

“This team has a lot to offer, and the world has seen that today,” added the Nigeria star.

“I want to fight for this badge; this is, you know, the best country in the world. Nigeria for life!”

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