The Super Falcons have qualified for the round of 16 of the ongoing 2023 Women’s World Cup (WWC).
The Nigerians booked the knockout ticket after a vital goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland at the Suncorp Stadium, Milton, Australia, on Monday.
With four games from the previous two games, Nigeria needed to simply avoid defeat against Ireland to progress to the knockout stage.
Ireland’s elimination from the competition had been confirmed after the 2-1 loss to Canada in their previous game.
Asisat Oshoala returned to starting line-up ahead of Ifeoma Onumonu at the tip of the Falcons’ attack.
Despite their terminated journey at the World Cup, Ireland held sway on the encounter in the early stages.
The first attempt at goal in the game fell to the Irish in the fifth minute after Sinead Farrelly cut the ball back to Katie McCabe at the edge of the Nigerian goal area. The Ireland skipper fizzed a left-footed shot just wide of the post.
The Falcons almost took the lead 10 minutes later, but Oshoala’s effort sailed wide.
The Nigerians had their most significant chance of the game after the halftime break. Toni Payne floated a cross, and Uchenna Kanu met the ball, but Courtney Brosnan, Ireland goalkeeper, teed it onto the underside of the crossbar.
Oshoala drew another chance wide immediately after that, and the Falcons held on for the brickmanship result that secured them a place in the round of 16.
The Nigerians finished second in the group behind Australia, who defeated Canada 4-0 in the group game.
Nigeria would be appearing in a successive Women’s World Cup knockout stage for the first time.
The Falcons are billed to play the winner of Group D — England, Denmark, China and Haiti — on August 7.