The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost their final Group A game 1-0 to host nation France at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World in front of a fully packed stadium in Rennes.
The Thomas Dennerby ladies went into the game on Monday night, needing at least a point to book their place in the knockout stage of the competition for the first time in twenty years.
Wendie Renard scored the only goal of the game via a controversial spot kick in the 79th minutes to hand the hosts the win over 10-woman Nigeria in an action-packed finish in Rennes.
The initial penalty -awarded via VAR after Ngozi Ebere was adjudged to have committed a foul on Viviane Asseyi in the box, which led to the Nigerian’s sending off for a second yellow card- hit the post.
Renard then blasted into the corner for France’s goal, but the referee decided that the player should retake the penalty due to goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie coming off her line.
However, Nigeria produced one of their best defensive performances in recent years against a strong France side.
The African Champions were tactically disciplined throughout and, while disappointed by the outcome, they will be proud at how they executed their game plan. Now the wait is on to see if they progress to the round of 16 for the first time in 20 years.
As Group A winners, France will face one of the best third-placed teams in the last 16.