Updated: Super Falcons beat Korea Republic to keep World Cup hope alive

African champions, Nigeria’s Super Falcons bounced back to winning ways following a convincing 2-0 victory over Korea Republic  in their second in Group A of the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
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African champions, Nigeria’s Super Falcons bounced back to winning ways following a convincing 2-0 victory over Korea Republic in their second game at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

An own goal from Korea Republic defender in the first half and a supeb goal from Asisat Oshoala sealed the win for Nigeria.

Having lost 0-3 to Norway in their first match and realizing they could be heading back home after the group phase, the Super Falcons opted for a spritely approach against the Koreans.

But captain Desire Oparanozie wasted a great opportunity in the 8th minute when presented with a simple header from a pull-out from Ngozi Ebere. She nodded straight at the Korean goalkeeper.

Perhaps the most inspired decision for the game by Nigeria’s coach Thomas Dennerby was starting former junior international Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal and sending Tochukwu Oluehi, so jittery against Norway, to the bench. The 18 year –old goaltender simply continued from where she left off at the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup also hosted by France, where she drew some rave reviews.

The win puts Super Falcons on three points and a hope of making it through to the last 16.

Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi and Chinaza Uchendu worked hard in the middle. But it was the intelligent right back Okeke, another performer from the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup, who got her touches right to send Asisat Oshoala to nick the second goal for Nigeria with 15 minutes left.

It was all the more disheartening for the Korea Republic as they dominated possession only to fall victim to two quick counter-attacks.

No doubt, Super Falcons got a well deserved win as they open their France 2019 account. Falcons kept their concentration in defence, worked hard in the midfield and finished off their chances in attack.

The result means three precious points for the Super Falcons, and a real chance of reaching the knockout rounds for the first time since 1999 if they avoid defeat against host nation France in Rennes on Monday.

Anthony Nlebem

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