Nigeria women bowed 2-0 to Australia women in their second group game at the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup played at the Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg on Friday night.
A brace from Kyah Simon were all Alan Stajcic’s needed to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to USA against the Falcons who they were playing for the first time.
Both teams were facing for the first time ever but the Nigerians looked the brighter side in the opening 10 minutes but failed to convert begging chances that came their way.
After minutes of a barren encounter, Simon put her side ahead with a fine finish. Captain Lisa De Vanna made a driving run through Nigerian defence before passing to Kyah Simon, who lifted the ball over Precious Dede to give the Matildas the lead.
The Aussies nearly made it 2-0 through danger woman Simon and De Vanna’s efforts were blocked.
On the other end, Edwin Okon ladies launched a comeback but goalkeeper Lydia Williams was at her best as she saved goal-bound shot from Oparanozie and Ngozi Okobi.
On resumption of the second half, the Australians continue to dominate as Nigeria – once a while threatened the Maltildas’ backline. Ngozi Okobi attempted an ambitious volley from long-range, which drew a gasp from the fans, but her effort sailed high.
The Matildas doubled their lead with Simon scoring her second after Samantha Kerr floated in a lofted cross that found her and Tameka Butt unmarked. Simon was in a better position to put it past Dede, which she did comfortably.
Even with the introduction of Perpetua Nkwocha and Courtney Dike, the Falcons’ failed to re-enact their act which saw them force a draw off the Swedes.
Laura Alleway was denied by the crossbar in the final minutes, and Australia never looked troubled at the other end of the pitch as they held on to keep the clean sheet intact for Williams.
Nigeria must now beat the USA on Tuesday night to stand a chance of making it to the round of 16.