Nigeria made the most of their chances against the run of play to defeat South Korea 2-0 for an uncommon success at the Women’s World Cup to ensure their advance into the next stage of the tournament held in France and Asisat Oshoala deservedly claiming the player of the match award.
A first half own goal at the Stade des Alps and a breakaway attack spearheaded by Barcelona star, Asisat Oshoala ensured Nigeria’s fourth win in eight World Cup final appearances and a chance to progress to the knockout stages for only the second time ever.
The South Koreans who are all but out of contention for progress into the next round lost the tournament’s opening game to France by a 4-0 scoreline before their latest rather surprising setback.
After containing early attacks pulled by the Koreans, Nigeria went ahead just before the half hour mark when Kim Do-yeon miscued an effort to try to steer a long ball through the middle and steered it past her goalkeeper, Kim Min-jung instead after the goalie had come out rushing and was left stranded.
There was a lengthy VAR review to see if Nigeria’s Desire Oparanozie had brushed the ball with her hand in the build-up but there was no concrete evidence to rule out the goal.
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The Koreans did find the net in the 58th minute only to be ruled for offside before three-times African women’s footballer of the year, Asisat Oshoala ran half the length of the pitch on a Nigerian counterattack, brushed aside a defender, rounded up the goalkeeper before sending the ball into the back of the net from a rather improbable angle.
She would have had a repeat of that goal-esque in the 75th minute but a heavy first touch denied her what would have turned out to be a probable goal of the tournament contender.
Nigeria lost their opening game of the tournament to Norway by a 3-0 scoreline.