Nigeria on course to face England in the World Cup last-16 after their goalless stalemate with the already-eliminated Republic of Ireland sees them finish as Group B runners-up
- Nigeria secured the point they needed to advance in goalless draw with Ireland
- The African side finish second in Group B, and are set to play England next
- The Irish gain their first point of the World Cup, but were already eliminated
Nigeria advanced to the Women’s World Cup knockout stages for just the third time in their history after a 0-0 draw with Ireland in their final Group B match on Monday, with the African side finishing second in the group behind hosts Australia.
Nigeria started the game as group toppers and only needed to avoid defeat to advance to the last 16, no matter the result in the other group game between Australia and Canada in Melbourne.
Shots on goal were in short supply but Nigeria had the best opportunity to score in the second half when Uchenna Kanu saw her header saved by goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, who made several timely interventions to give Ireland their first clean sheet.
Nigeria will have to wait until Tuesday to discover who their last-16 opponents will be with Group D yet to be decided. They will face the winners of that group, which England currently lead with six points ahead of their final clash with China.
Debutants Ireland were already eliminated after two defeats but go home having earned their first ever point at the World Cup.
Nigeria had the best opportunity to score when Uchenna Kanu’s second half header was saved
Courtney Brosnan made several interventions to give Ireland their first point and clean sheet
In the group’s other game, the Matildas kept their home World Cup campaign going by eliminating the Olympic Gold medallists Canada with a thumping 4-0 win in Melbourne.
It saw Australia top the group with two wins and six points, ahead of the unbeaten Nigeria on five points, and Canada and Ireland evicted in four points and one point respectively.
Rep of Ireland : Brosnan, Fahey (Caldwell 90), Louise Quinn, Connolly, Payne (Sheva 83), Agg (Larkin 83), Littlejohn, McCabe, O’Sullivan, Carusa, Farrelly.
Subs Not Used: Moloney, O’Riordan, Mustaki, Barrett, O’Gorman, Lucy Quinn, Grant, Atkinson, Walsh.
Nigeria: Nnadozie, Plumptre, Demehin (Ebi 84), Ohale, Alozie, Ayinde, Ucheibe, Kanu (Monday 68), Payne, Ajibade, Oshoala (Onumonu 67).
Subs Not Used: Oluehi, Ogbonna, Oparanozie, Abiodun, Ordega, Echegini, Imuran, Okoronkwo, Balogun.
Referee: Katia Garcia (Mexico).
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