PRE-WORLD CUP FRIENDLY
Nigeria’s Super Falcons were beaten 2-1 by the fifth best team in the FIFA rankings, Canada at the Pinatar Arena in a pre-World Cup friendly on Monday afternoon.
Manager Thomas Dennerby missed the services of talented Span-based duo of Sevilla’s Antoinette Payne and Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala for the high-profile game but it was the Nigerian Ladies that made a quick start in Murcia.
Three minutes after Rita Chikwelu was denied by the Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, striker Desire Oparanozie put Nigeria into the lead with a superb finish after Uchenna Kanu had teed her up in the 26th minute.
But the Canadians came roaring out of the blocks after the break, Beckie Janine restored parity in the 48th minute following a corner quick breakaway.
And seven minutes shy of the hour mark, Sophie Schmidt rose highest to plant a terrific header past Tochukwu Oluchi in the Nigerian goal following a cross from Jayde Riviere to complete the turnaround for Canada.
Kanu nearly grabbed an equaliser for the Falcons after getting onto the end of a pass from Ngozi Ebere but her effort failed to trouble McLeod.
Nigeria Starting XI Vs Canada : Oluehi, Ohale, Michael, Ebere, Ebi, Imo, Ayinde, Chikwelu, Okobi, Kanu, Oparanozie