Women’s World Cup: Australia in danger of early exit as Nigeria stun hosts

Australia will now have to beat Canada on Monday to avoid an early exit from the tournament

Sports Staff
Thursday 27 July 2023 16:46 BST
<p>Asisat Oshoala (left) came off the bench to score as Nigeria beat Australia 3-2</p>

Asisat Oshoala (left) came off the bench to score as Nigeria beat Australia 3-2

Nigeria sprung a shock at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday as they fought back from a goal down to beat co-hosts Australia 3-2.

Defending champions the United States and the Netherlands battled out a 1-1 draw in a rematch of the 2019 final, while Portugal registered their first-ever win at this level, defeating fellow debutants Vietnam 2-0.

Here is a look at the day’s action.

Australia stunned

Having opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland last week, Australia were left in danger of missing out on the last 16 following their second group game as Nigeria pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win in Brisbane.

The Matildas, again without injured captain and record scorer Sam Kerr, took the lead through an Emily van Egmond finish in first-half stoppage time, but Uchenna Kanu restored parity before the break and the African side – ranked 30 places below Australia at 40th in the world – then went in front via Osinache Ohale’s 65th-minute header.

Substitute Asisat Oshoala added a third after 72 minutes, with Australia only able to reply with an Alanna Kennedy header deep in stoppage time, as Nigeria moved to the top of Group B, joining Canada on four points.

They will aim to secure a place in the last 16 when they face already-eliminated Ireland at the same venue on Monday, when Australia, now third, take on Canada in Melbourne looking to avoid an early exit. The second-placed team in this group will face the winners of England’s Group D in the next round, and vice versa.

Heavyweights share the points

In Group E, the US and the Netherlands are first and second respectively with four points apiece following an engrossing draw in Wellington.

A 17th-minute strike from Jill Roord, teed up by Victoria Pelova, put the Dutch ahead.

The United States equalised just past the hour mark when Lindsey Horan headed in Rose Lavelle’s corner and Alex Morgan later thought she had completed a turnaround, but her finish was ruled out for offside.

History for Portugal

A point behind the top two in that group are Portugal after their historic result against Vietnam in Hamilton.

Telma Encarnacao scored in the seventh minute and Francisca Nazareth in the 14th – what proved the only goals despite Francisco Neto’s team having numerous further attempts, with Joana Marchao going closest with two efforts that hit the bar in the second half.

Portugal take on the US in their final pool match in Auckland next Tuesday while Vietnam, whose campaign is confirmed as ending at the group stage after two defeats, will face the Netherlands in Dunedin.

Post of the day

Quote of the day

The biggest and most important thing we have to prepare right now is to mentally bounce back. The truth is right in front of us – it’s a must-win game against an Olympic champion in the last round of the group stage to get out.

Australia boss Tony Gustavsson

Up next

Group G: Argentina v South Africa (1am, Dunedin); Group D: England v Denmark (9.30am, Sydney); Group D: China v Haiti (midday, Adelaide). All times BST

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