My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Kyah Simon 29, 68
Australia had made 3 changes from the defeat against USA, with Lydia Williams replacing Melissa Barbieri in goal, whilst Alanna Kennedy and Kyah Simon came in for Servet Uzunlar and Michelle Heyman respectively. Nigeria named the same team that had impressively drawn against Sweden.
The game had a slow start, with Australia’s free-kick from Van Egmond that went over the only chance in the opening 15 minutes.
Nigeria created a couple of half-chances, with Asisat Oshoala shooting wide of the near post and then Desire Oparanozie’s shot back across goal going wide.
It was Nigeria who created the first shot on goal, but Evelyn Gwabuoku’s side-footed shot was straight at Williams.
Australia were starting to dominate the midfield battle, and Katrina Gorry’s threaded diagonal pass found Samatha Kerr in the box, but her weak shot was an easily saved by Precious Dede.
And then they took the lead. Lisa De Vanna’s change of pace saw her beat two players before she sends Kyah Simon who placed the ball over the diving goalkeeper.
They could have had a second. Catlin Foord broke forward and she split the defence with her pass to Simon, whose shot took a deflection off Josephine Cukwunonye towards the unmarked De Vanna, but she fired her shot wide.
Nigeria had a good end to the first half. Oshoala set up Ngozi Okobi, but she shot tamely straight at Williams. Minutes later, they worked the ball to Ordega, but her shot was blocked by Alanna Kennedy.
Australia started the second half strongly. Samantha Kerr broke down the left and picked out Gorry, but her header was straight at Dede.
Nigeria came close from a free-kick, 25-yards from goal. Oparanzoie’s curling effort beat the wall and was parried behind by Williams, although the keeper should have caught the ball. And then Ngozi Ebere’s cross found Oshoala, but she got her volley all wrong and it goes harmlessly wide. Ebere played another ball into the danger zone, but no Nigerian player had made the run.
And then Australia doubled their lead. Foord’s cross was only partially cleared to Kerr, who dinked a curling ball over the defence towards two Australian players, but it was Simon who fired across goal and into the back of the net. The Nigerian defence completely disappeared when Kerr picked out Simon.
Nigeria nearly found a goal back when Ordega picked out Oshoala, but she was leaning back as she shot and her effort flew over.
Nigeria were lucky to remain with 10 players as off the ball Ugo Njoku elbowed Kerr – the ball was nowhere near them.
Then Australia should have got their third. A long ball found De Vanna who runs to the edge of the box, and she shoots with power but straight at Dede who makes a great save. They had a glorious chance minutes later when Elise Kellond-Knight’s free-kick found Laura Alleway at the near post, but her shot hit the post.
There was a controversial ending, as the referee stopped play only 90 seconds into the supposed 4 minutes of second half stoppage time.
The win sees Australia move to joint group leaders with USA who played Sweden later.
Woman of the Match
Samantha Kerr – Australia.
Australia: (4-3-3) Lydia Williams, Caitlin Foord, Laura Alleway, Alanna Kennedy, Steph Catley, Emily Van Egmond, Elise Kellond-Knight, Katrina Gorry (Tameka Butt 62), Lisa De Vanna (c), Kyah Simon (Michelle Heyman 87), Samantha Kerr.
Goals: Kyah Simon 29, 68.
Nigeria: (4-4-2) Precious Dede, Osinachi Ohale (Ugo Njoku 52), Josephine Chukwunonye, Onome Ebi, Ngozi Ebere, Asisat Oshoala (Courtney Dike 84), Evelyn Nwabuoku (c), Halimatu Ayinde, Ngozi Okobi, Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie (Perpetua Nkwocha 54).
Booked: Evelyn Nwabuoku 42, Josephine Chukwunonye 60.