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Australia Clips Super Falcons Wings

14 June 2015, 10:04

Lagos - Australia produced an assured performance to beat African champions Nigeria 2-0 at the Winnipeg Stadium in the Group D of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada on Friday night.

The Aussies were much more forward-thinking than during their nervous opening match with USA providing a constant threat to Super Falcons' goal while also nullifying the meek attacking threat provided by their overwhelmed opponents.

Kyah Simon capped an impressive performance with two goals - the first a close range strike, the second she profited from poor defending by the Africans.

The victory not only advances Australia to three points ahead of their final group game with Sweden.

This defeat leaves Nigeria facing an uphill task to secure a place in the last 16.

Prior to the game, both coaches had promised positive approaches from their sides, and so it proved in an entertaining match that not only improved on what Group D had offered, but what the tournament on the whole has provided thus far.

Super Falcons coach Edwin Okon kept essentially the same side - and the same shape from the 3-3 draw with Sweden. Their performance was more in keeping with their passionate second-half display against the Swedes, but they were unable to pose enough of a threat to trouble the Aussies.

Having navigated a tricky opening game against Sweden relatively unscathed and knowing here lay their chance to seize control of Group D, Nigeria opted for a three woman strike force, with Desire Oparanozie partnering Asisat Oshoala upfront, while Francisca Ordega played in a withdrawn attacking role.

Simon was the difference - dropping deep to collect possession and influence her side's attacks and providing the moment of individual brilliance that gave Australia the lead 29 minutes through the first half via a brilliant finish after Lisa De Vanna had dribbled past three Nigerian players to set her up. 

She also demonstrated an immense level of composure to emphatically hammer a second half strike past goalkeeper Precious Dede for her second goal of the match.

For all their disappointment, the Nigerian supporters can have no complaints as the Matildas were dominant.

Nigeria now face a final group game against USA with slim hopes of qualifying.

Super Falcons Starters: Precious Dede, Osinachi Ohale, Ngozi Ebere, Onome Ebi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Halimatu Ayinde, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Francisca Ordega, Ngozi Okobi, Desire Oparanozie, Asisat Oshoala

Reserves: Ibubeleye Whyte, Christy Ohiaeriaku, Blessing Edoho, Ugo Njoku, Sarah Nnodim, Martina Ohadugha, Perpetua Nkwocha, Esther Sunday, Cecilia Nku, Loveth Ayila, Courtney Dike, Iniabasi Umotong



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