Nigeria Fails to Reach 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Q/Final

Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie looks dejected after missing a penalty [Dan Peled/Reuters]


Nigeria has crashed out of the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand after losing on penalty shoot-outs to European champions, England. The Super Falcons failed to take advantage of an overturned penalty kick awarded against them in the 34mins of the first half, following a VAR intervention.

The West African queens also failed to capitalize on the red card awarded to England’s Lauren James after a cheeky stamp on a fallen Michelle Alozie in the 84mins. James had initially been handed a yellow card, but it was changed following VAR summoning the referee to the monitor.


Round of 16 – England v Nigeria – Brisbane Football Stadium, Brisbane, Australia – August 7, 2023 Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnadozie in action REUTERS/Dan Peled

The Super Falcons failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage, allowing the game to go into extra-time and subsequently penalty shootout. The Three Lionesses went up first and after Georgia Stanway dragged her spot kick wide of the upright, it looked as if it was going to be Nigeria’s night.

However, the former African champions failed to score from the spot twice, with substitute Desire Oparanozie missing the target. Michelle Alozie, also skied her effort while Beth England scored in between the two Nigerian failed attempts. Although Rasheedat Ajibade and Christy Ucheibe scored from the spot, it was down to Chloe Kelly with the final spot kick for England, which she dispatch to send the Three Lions into the Quarter-Finals to await the winner Jamaica vs Colombia encounter.

Africa sole survivor and only hope of getting into the Q-finals rests on the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco who take on France tomorrow.


Nigeria is set to take on England in a match that will pitch the former African champions against the current European champions. Both teams are battling for a place in the quarter finals of the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

The Super Falcons are one of the remaining two African countries left in the tournament. Reigning African champions, South Africa lost 0 – 2 to Netherlands in the Round of 16 to exit the tournament. Zambia had taken an early flight home after failing to make it out of the group stage, while Morocco will take on France in one of the last Round of 16 games on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s Uchenna Kanu celebrates scoring their first goal [Dan Peled/Reuters]
Asisat Oshoala celebrates after scoring Nigeria’s third goal against Australia. Photo by Chris Hyde.

Placed in Group B, Nigeria began her campaign with a goalless draw in their opening game with Olympic champions, Canada. In their second match, the West African queens upstaged Australia despite the huge home support in a thrilling encounter that ended 3 – 2. Another goalless draw in their final game against bottom team, Republic of Ireland ensured that Nigeria finished second with five points, behind joint-host Australia.

England on the other hand, took the maximum nine points from three games to top Group D, recording lone goal victories over Haiti and Denmark in their first two games, before dispatching China 6 – 1 in the final group game.

Nigeria and England have previously met only once at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1995. The tournament which was hosted by Sweden had twelve teams in three groups of four. Nigeria was placed in Group B with England, Canada and eventual winners of the tournament, Norway. In the first match the Falcons lost by 8 – 0 to Norway.

The second match against Canada ended in a 3 – 3 draw with Rita Nwadike scoring Nigeria’s first goal at the World Cup in the 26th minutes to level the score at 1 – 1. In the final group game, it was a narrow 2 – 3 loss for the Falcons against the Three Lionesses.

This time though, every Nigerian and indeed African will be hoping and praying that the Super Falcons get the better of the English team. The match comes up at 08:30 CET.

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