FIFA Women's World Cup - Nigeria v Canada

Image copyright: Getty Images 


2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Group B

Nigeria v Canada

Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Melbourne, Australia
Friday, 21 July 2023
Kick-off is at 03h30 
Nigeria will be looking to start their 2023 Women's World Cup campaign with a bang when they face Canada at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday, July 21.
The Super Falcons are Africa's most successful team, having won the Africa Cup of Nations a record 11 times, while they've featured in every edition of the global showpiece since its inception in 1991.
Their best performance on the world's biggest stage came in 1998 when they reached the quarter-finals - a feat no other nation from the continent has matched since then.
The West African giants failed to make it out of the group stages in their next four appearances before qualifying for the round of 16 in 2019, where they were knocked out by Germany following a 3-0 defeat.
Randy Waldrum's side will be determined to make up for a disappointing 2022 Africa Cup of Nations by their own high standards, having been dethroned by South Africa after they lost on penalties to hosts Morocco in the semi-finals.

Asisat Oshoala
Image copyright: Getty Images 
Waldrum declared their first objective is to get out of Group B, which also pits them against co-hosts Australia and debutants Republic of Ireland.
"I think the expectations is to get out of the group, that hasn't changed. One thing I know is that the players have given us everything in the past days and we will continue to do that until Friday. We will be proud and make you all (Africans) proud as well," the American tactician said.
Canada head Down Under as reigning Olympic champions and they'll have high hopes of making a similar impact at the World Cup.
The North Americans announced themselves to the world when they reached the semi-finals in 2003 and then advanced to the quarter-finals as hosts in 2015.
Canada bowed out to at the round of 16 in France four years ago, the third time they had progressed beyond the group stages and that will be their initial target again.
Bev Priestman, who guided the team to Gold at the 2020 Olympic Games, is aiming to adopt the same philosophy that brought them success in Tokyo two years ago.

Nigeria v Canada 
"I'd like to think the players are feeling the same way in the sense of freshness, bravery, all of the things that got me success," Priestman said.
"I'm not saying I've stood still because we've definitely tweaked things tactically and all the rest of it, but from a philosophy standpoint, I would stand by my same philosophy."
Asisat Oshoala is undoubtedly the star of the Nigerian team and will be hoping to carry her club form over to the international stage. The 28-year-old striker scored an impressive 21 goals this past season, including two hat-tricks, to help Barcelona win the Liga F title. She was recently on target for the Super Falcons in a 2-1 victory over Haiti on April 7.
Adriana Leon will be desperate to make her mark for Canada at the World Cup in the hope of reviving her club career. The 30-year-old winger made a dream move to Manchester United in July 2022, but struggled to establish herself in the first team and was shipped off to Portland Thorns on loan for the remainder of the season in April. A good performance in Australia and New Zealand could restore her confidence ahead of her return to Old Trafford.


Matches - 5
Nigeria - 1
Canada - 2
Draws - 2

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Published: 07/21/2023