Nigeria will face Canada in their opening game of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Friday July 21. SportsRation presents a preview.
Type of Competition: 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Date: Friday, July 21, 2023
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia
Canada and Nigeria will both look to get their campaign off to a winning start on Friday morning.
A hotly anticipated clash between two perennial FIFA Women’s World Cup underperformers, this will be battle for who joins Australia on top of the standings in group B.
World Cup co-hosts Australia went top of group with 1-0 win over Ireland on Thursday July 20.
In grades, Canada are reigning Olympic champions while Nigeria’s Super Falcons have slumped from being undisputed in Africa, by failing to win any medal at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
That slump notwithstanding, the Super Falcons enter the tournament on the back of three straight victories, including a three-nil rout of co-hosts New Zealand.
The Nigerian squad is full of talent, especially with the attacking trident of Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala who has just won the Champions League, Saint-Étienne forward Esther Okoronkwo and Atlético Madrid’s Rasheedat Ajibade, but the later alongside Ayinde will miss the Canada clash due to suspension.
HEAD TO HEAD
Nigeria and Canada have met on four occasions.
Canada have won two fixtures, and the latest match, a friendly held in April 2022, ended in a 2-2 draw. But Nigeria won their only World Cup meeting, a 1-0 victory in 2021.
Reigning Africa Women footballer of the year Asisat Oshoala is the biggest name in Randy Waldrum’s 23-player Super Falcons list.
Oshoala has been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or and will boost her reputation even further with an outstanding performance at the World Cup.
For Canada, Record breaking forward Christine Sinclair is the player to watch.
As top scorer in men and women’s international football with 190 goals, Christine will be a major threat to opponents and advantage for The Maple Leaf’s team.
The two already decided games of the 2023 FIFA World Cup have produced just a goal in each match.
We say, another cagey contest that could end in a stalemate.