Canada, the reigning Olympic champion, was trapped by Nigeria (0-0) when it entered the Women's World Cup on Friday in Melbourne. The Nigerian goalkeeper of Paris FC, Chiamaka Nnadozie, stopped a penalty from Christine Sinclair (50th). Australia, which beat Ireland (1-0) on Thursday, takes control, alone, of Group B.
Chiamaka Nnadozie saved Christine Sinclair's shot after the Canadian was awarded a penalty following a kick from Nigerian striker Francisca Ordega.
Sinclair's 190 international goals are a record for both women and men as she aims to become the first player to score in six World Cups. That was not the case in the first Group B game for Canada.
"She's one of the best ," Chiamaka Nnadozie said of her. "The last time we played against them, she scored against me. I was incredibly angry. I thought this was my chance to get my revenge."
At the Super Falcons ' last major international tournament, the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria lost to Morocco in the semi-final on penalties (5-4), with Nnadozie between the posts.
Aged 18, at the 2019 Women's World Cup, Nnadozie became the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in Women's World Cup history, with a 2–0 group stage win over South Korea.
" I think she is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world right now," Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum said. "Because of her performance, people around the world see it too, because she deserves it."
The penalty missed by Christine Sinclair (50th) illustrates the lack of efficiency of the Canadians, who spent the majority of the meeting in the Nigerian camp. The Paris FC goalkeeper was also vigilant on the close-range shot of Evelyne Viens (60th).
The final assault led to the red card of the Nigerian Deborah Abiodun (90th + 7), the first expulsion from the 2023 World Cup, in the absence of clear chances. The Super Falcons remain on track to reach the round of 16, as in 2019.
The Nigerians, who have participated in the nine editions of the World Cup, had threatened before the competition to boycott the tournament because of disagreements with the Federation on the premiums.