In a shock win on Thursday, Nigeria beat Australia 3-2 at a sold-out match in Brisbane’s Lang Park.
The Australians, co-hosts of the Women’s World Cup, were surprised by the Nigerians’ energetic play and fast-paced attacks.
The Matildas are currently missing their star player Sam Kerr due to an injury. Had they won, they would be through to the Round of 16 but now will have to beat Olympic champions Canada to advance.
Just before half-time, the Matildas scored the first goal, with a run down the left wing by Foord who passed the ball to Egmond. Egmond passed the ball across the goalkeeper and into the goal.
But the joy was short-lived for the hosts, as five minutes later, the Nigerians equalized, thanks to Uchenna Kanu.
Then, after a corner had been cleared, defender Osinachi Ohale pushed the ball into the Australian goal.
The Super Falcons’ star striker Asisat Oshoala, who came on for the second half, took advantage of a defensive error to slip inside the Australian box and fire past the goalkeeper.
Spurred on by their fans, the Matildas tried in vain to pull a goal back, despite a stoppage-time goal headed in by Alanna Kennedy.
For the Super Falcons, Thursday’s win puts them in the running to qualify for the last sixteen, as in 2019.
Ranked 40th by FIFA, this is the Nigerians’ 9th World Cup.