Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons’ stand-in goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie on Wednesday set a new record at the Women’s World Cup, as a 2-0 victory against South Korea helped her become the youngest shot-stopper to have a clean sheet ever in the competition, megasporsarena.com reports.
A first half own goal by Korea’s Kim Doyeon’s own goal and Asisat Oshoala’s 75th minute sinker at Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France ensured Nigeria kept hope alive for a round of 16 ticket, and Nnadozie, who last year dazzled with the under-20 side enacted a new mark.
After sitting out Saturday’s opening 3-0 loss to Norway, with the more experienced Tochukwu Oluehi preferred in goal, Nnadozie got her time to shine, after Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby made three changes to the side, as Chinaza Uchendu and Chidimma Okeke also started.
The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup revelation, during the female youth competition that also held in France last summer, was adjudged by global statistics giants, OPTA, as the youngest ever goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in the Female Mundial, aged 18 years and 186 days.
Nigeria went ahead just before the half hour mark when defender Kim Do-yeon miscued an effort to try to clear a long ball through the middle and steered it past her goalkeeper Kim Min-jung, who had come rushing out of her goal and was stranded.
There was a lengthy Video Assistant Referee review to see whether Nigeria’s captain Desire Oparanozie might have brushed the ball with her hand as she headed to the goal but there was no conclusive evidence to rule out the goal.
Korea were pulled back for offside when they found the net in the 58th minute before a Nigerian counter attack saw Oshoala, a three-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year, ran half the length of the field, brushed past a defender, rounded the goalkeeper and squeezed the ball home from an almost improbable angle.
The Barcelona of Spain amazon might have scored yet again in similar fashion just two minutes after the 75th minute goal but a heavy first touch saw the opportunity slip away.
While Nigeria got their fourth every win int he Women’s World Cup, Oshoala became the second Nigerian player to score in two different editions of the tournament, behind Rita Nwadike.
Dramatically, the two own-goals so far in this tournament have both featured in Nigeria’s matches, thereby making them the first team to both score and concede an own-goal at the same Women’s World Cup since the United States in 1999.
The win was Nigeria’s first at the Female Mundial since 2011, when they defeated Canada 1-0 in Germany, and the first time they had won a World Cup match 2-0 since achieving the same scoreline against Denmark at USA ’99.
Wednesday’s result also means the Falcons will seal progression to the knockout stage for the first time in their last five attempts if they can get a decent result in their last group game against France on Monday.
Nnadozie said: “I feel so happy it’s a dream come true. We didn’t start well but finished well. It has given us enough confidence and it will help push us in our next game this weekend.”