Nigeria’s Super Falcons started their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand with a goalless draw against Olympic champions, Canada.
Goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie turned the heroine of the match played in Brisbane after saving Christine Sinclair’s penalty early in the second half.
The Falcons also had midfielder, Deborah Abiodun sent off late on in the game for a dangerous foul.
In the 23rd minute, the Nigerian ladies went close with the opener despite Canada’s early dominance when Ifeoma Onumonu had her well-taken shot parried away by goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan.
Five minutes later, Canada’s Jordyn Huitema failed to direct her header from a cross towards goal.
Both teams finished the first half creating no dangerous opportunity.
The second half began on a disappointing note for the Falcons when the referee awarded a penalty for Canada after Francisca Ordega brought down Christine Sinclair in the box.
But Nnadozie stepped up to save the resulting penalty by Sinclair.
The Canadians went close again seven minutes later but Adriana Leon’s clever free-kick missed the target.
They continued to surge forward and almost scored but Nnadozie stopped a left-foot strike.
Substitute Uchenna Kanu connected with a cross from Onumonu which the keeper saved from close range but the flag went off for offside.
With five minutes left, Tosin Demehin made a timely block to deny a goal-bound shot.
In the 98th minute, Abiodun was shown a straight card after consultation with VAR for a bad tackle on Ashley Lawrence.
The result means after three meetings, the Super Falcons are still unbeaten against Canada at the women’s World Cup (one win and two draws).
Up next for the Falcons are hosts Australia on Thursday, July 27.