Nine-time African champions, Nigeria made it to the Round of 16 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after a 0-0 draw with debutant, the Republic of Ireland on Monday.
Nigeria needed just a point to seal their place in the knockout stage, and they also had a great first-half chance as Asisat Oshoala failed to capitalise on Louise Quinn’s error.
With Australia beating Canada in the other game, Nigeria needed a winner in the second half to go through as top of the group, and they nearly found one when Uchenna Kanu nodded Toni Payne’s cross toward the goal, only to be kept out by a superb Courtney Brosnan save as the Republic of Ireland picked up their first ever World Cup point.
Ireland’s elimination had already been confirmed prior to this game, which they nearly went ahead in after just five minutes when Katie McCabe fired wide of the right post.
The Girls in Green should head home proud of their efforts after a solid maiden World Cup campaign, albeit one that ends with just a single point on the board after falling just short against Australia and Canada.
They are next in action in September, hosting Northern Ireland in the Nations League.
Nigeria extends its unbeaten run to six games since a 1-0 loss to Colombia in an international friendly match February.
For Nigeria, they miss the chance to top the group, and they will take on the team that finishes top of Group D on August 7 in Melbourne.
As it stands ahead of the final Group D games on Tuesday, European champions England lead that group and will be the Super Falcons’ opponent if they hold on to the top spot.