Nigeria’s Super Falcons came from behind to pull off one of the biggest shocks of the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup beating hosts Australia 3-2 at the Suncorp Stadium in Melbourne to go top of Group B after the second round of games.
Goals from Uchenna Kalu, Osinachi Ohale, and captain Asisat Oshoala ensured that the Falcons go top of the group and increase their chances of making it out of the group stage.
After a cagey start to the game, fans would have thought that the game will go into the halftime break goalless, however, the hosts capitalized on a poor clearance from Falcons goalkeeper Nnadozie as Emily van Egmond grabbed the opener in the first minute of added time (45+1).
The Falcons grabbed the equalizer through Uchenna Kalu in the fifth minute of added time (45+5) ensuring the Nigerians did not go into the half-time break on a back foot.
Nigeria struggled to get into their groove in the first half allowing the hosts to dictate the pace. The Maltildas had a total of 12 shots in the first half compared to Nigeria’s three and also completed 228 passes (81%) to Nigeria’s 153 (67%).
The Falcons were much more improved and assured in the second half and it showed as they went ahead in the 62nd minute through Osinachi Ohale before the captain and substitute Asisat Oshoala capitalized on a defensive error from the Maltidas to cooly slot in Nigeria’s third goal of the game in the 75th minute. Alana Kennedy scored a consolation goal for the Australians in the 10th minute of added time.
There were 11 minutes of added time after the regulation time but despite the pressure from the hosts, the Falcons held on for a famous win.
A win for the Super Falcons in their final group game against the Republic of Ireland will safely guide them to the second round of the competition for a second consecutive World Cup campaign after achieving the same feat four years ago in France.