Women World Cup 2023- Nigeria force Canada to 0-0 drawn game as Chiamaka Nnadozie saves Christine Sinclair penalty

Soccer Football - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Group B - Nigeria v Canada - Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia - July 21, 2023 Nigeria's Uchenna Kanu in action with Canada's Quinn REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Nigeria pulled off a vital one point in Women’s World Cup first game after forcing Canada to a goalless draw game in dominant Canadian showpiece at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday morning.

Canadian star and the world’s all-time leading international scorer Christine Sinclair failed to convert a penalty as the Olympic champions settled for a 0-0 draw against Nigeria to open group play at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The no. 7-ranked Canadians were the favorites against no. 40-Nigeria, but they couldn’t get many clear looks during the match as the Nigerians defended stoutly, often with last-ditch emergency defending that proved effective. The penalty could have been the turning point for Canada.

The referee pointed to the spot after Sinclair was clipped in the Nigerian box on a dribbling move early in the second half. With regular penalty taker Jessie Fleming on the bench carrying an injury, Sinclair stepped up herself and watched Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie make the sure-handed stop.

Nigeria enjoyed several positive spells in the game and caused the Canadians more than a few headaches. Canada defenders made key plays and ‘keeper Kailen Sheridan came up with a couple of stops of her own to keep the Super Falcons at bay.

Group B is considered by many to be the Group of Death at the 2023 World Cup for how competitive the teams are, and the 0-0 draw will only serve to make the battle for the top two spots even more fierce with two group matches to go. Hosts Australia will face Nigeria next, knowing that a win would see the Matildas qualify for the Round of 16.



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