The Super Falcons of Nigeria played out a goalless draw against Canada in their opening Group B clash of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday.
Nigeria began the game cautiously, sitting back to soak the mounting pressure as Canada came out of the blocks early in the first minutes.
Jordyn Huitema and Christine Sinclair were the focal point of attack for the Olympic Champions but Nigeria’s defensive discipline frustrated the Canadians.
Christine Sinclair had an opportunity in the 9th minute but her right footed shot from outside the box missed the top right corner.
Nigeria began to grow into the game as the minutes progressed. Ifeoma Onumonu tested the Canadian keeper with a long range effort which was saved in the bottom right corner.
The game was scoreless at the break.
With the resumption of the second half, Canada had an opportunity to go ahead in the game after Francisca Ordega fouled Sinclair in the box in the 48th minute. VAR review confirmed the penalty to Canada.
The veteran Sinclair stepped up to take the kick but her effort was easily saved by keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie. Ordega perhaps quite relived.
Nigeria were reduced to 10 players after Deborah Abiodun was shown a red card for a dangerous challenge.
Nonetheless Nigeria held on for a valuable point.