Women World Cup: Injured Oshoala May Miss Falcons’ Next Game If Nigeria Qualify
By Taiwo Adelu
London, June 19, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Reports from France early Tuesday say Nigerian striker, Asisat Oshoala may not play the Super Falcons’ Round of 16 match in the ongoing France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup if the team eventually qualify.
It was gathered that Oshoala picked up an ankle injury in the second group match against South Korea and unfortunately for her, she pulled another injury in the hamstring in the first half of the third group match against the hosts, France Monday night.
“I only managed to play the game (against France), I was injured in the ankle from the last game (against Korea)… then I pulled my hamstring again in the first half of this game (against France),” Oshoala was reported to have said after Monday night match, which Nigeria lost 0-1
An official who was with the team in France but pleaded anonymity informed that there is fear that Oshoala’s two separate injuries might rule her out of the next game of the Super Falcons if not from the World Cup
“Asisat played with injury for 90 minutes in France game. She was injured right from the Korea game before she scored. Fear is that she might be ruled out of the tourney even if Nigeria qualify,” the official said.
Oshoala has been on top of her game in the ongoing World Cup, scoring for the Falcons after the own goal of the Koreans in the team’s second group match. Though she could not find the net in Monday’s match against the French ladies, the FC Barcelona star with the rest of Falcons team mounted a formidable defence to curtain the French team in that pulsating encounter.
African champions Nigeria fought valiantly but eventually lost by the odd goal to host nation France in Rennes on Monday as the curtain was drawn on Group A of the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals. It was a similar result when both teams last met at the World Cup – in Germany eight years ago.
Centre –back Wendy Renard drove the ball past goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie at the second time of trying in the 78th minute of a well –attended encounter at the 28,000 –capacity Roazhon Park. Renard bundled the first kick against the upright but Nnadozie was adjudged to have moved both feet off the goal-line before the kick (contravention of a new rule), and was penalized.
After a listless first half that produced no shot on goal from either side, the French came into the second period with greater urgency, but still could not find a way past a determined rearguard of Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Chidinma Okeke, Ngozi Ebere and Nnadozie.
Eventually, it was Ebere whose awakward touch on an advancing Asseyi got France the penalty that separated both teams and earned the host nation the maximum nine points from their three group games for the first time in their history of participation in the World Cup.
To the Nigeria coach, Thomas Dennerby, it was not a good outing at all. He told fifa,com: “Of course I’m disappointed with the result. France are a really good team. I feel so sorry because the girls were fighting so well and we followed the match plan.”
With only three points from their three matches and a two-goal deficit, the Falcons’ progress to the knockout rounds for the first time in 20 years will be sealed if Argentina are unable to accomplish a handsome win over Scotland in their final Group D game on Thursday, or Cameroon are unable to defeat New Zealand by more than one goal in their final Group E duel on Friday.
China, with four points in Group B, and Australia, with three points already from two matches in Group C, look already good enough for the Round of 16.
With the USA and Sweden packing all the points in Group F, third –placed Chile is still pointless and must defeat Thailand by more than three goals to get in the way of Nigeria.
The four best third –placed teams in the six groups will join the two top –placed teams in each group to the Round of 16.