Nigeria’s Super Falcons stunned the hosts, Australia, 3-2 in a thrilling Group B match at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday.
Though it was the Maltidas that struck first, late in the first half, the Super Falcons pegged them back before the break.
In the second half, Randy Waldrum made some astute changes, which ensured the Super Falcons turned the game on its head, with Ohale and Oshoala initially giving Nigeria a two-goal lead.
Though Australia trimmed the lead late on, they couldn’t change the outcome of the game.
The goal by Oshoala made her the first African player to score at three different editions of the World Cup.
Ohale’s contribution went beyond the goal she scored, as she was solid for the Falcons throughout the game, and it wasn’t surprising she was voted player of the match.
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While the Super Falcons collectively did well as a team, here is how the players fared individually in Thursday’s five-goal thriller.
Chiamaka Nnadozie: 7/10 – Though she wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet like she did against Canada, the stand-in captain was solid in goal and made a number of good saves that ensured the Falcons secured the maximum three points
Michelle Alozie: 7/10 – Did well defensively, but was overly cautious going forward. Though there were one or two shaky moments, ‘Dr Alozie’ was way above average.
Osinachi Ohale: 8/10 – Excellent performance at right-back, scored the second goal and was a constant threat down the flank.
Blessing Demehin: 7/10 – The player exhibited solid defensive skills, but there is room for improvement in terms of assertiveness while in possession of the ball.
Ashleigh Plumptre: 7/10 – Good performance at left-back, linked up well with Ajibade down the flank.
Halimatu Ayinde: 6.5/10 – Solid performance in midfield, kept things ticking over, tackled and chased back to cover her full backs before limping off injured.
Toni Payne: 7/10 – Did well to create chances, but could have been more clinical in front of the goal.
Christy Ucheibe: 7/10 – Won the ball back well and kept the midfield ticking over.
Ifeoma Onumonu: 5/10 – Couldn’t get her groove in the game and it wasn’t a surprise she was substituted
Uchenna Kanu: 7/10 – Scored the equaliser and worked hard all game.
Rasheedat Ajibade (8/10): Returning from suspension, Ajibade was on fire, dictating the game’s pace. She played a pivotal role in the goals scored by Nigeria.
Asisat Oshoala: 8/10 – The Barcelona forward came off the bench to score the crucial goals that sealed the victory.
Esther Okoronkwo: 6/10 – She didn’t have much of an impact, but completed all of her passes.
Egechini Egechini: N/A
Glory Ogbonna: N/A
Onome Ebi: N/A
Overall, it was a brilliant performance from the Super Falcons, who deserved their victory.
They will be hoping to build on this result and progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.
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