The French women team have emerged as the second team to qualify for the Round of 16 of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup with the maximum nine points from the group phase.
The hosts pipped the hard-fighting Super Falcons team by a lone goal on Monday night to maintain their perfect run in the Women’s World Cup just like Germany who are also through to the knock out phase with maximum points.
Having given themselves a lifeline with the 2-0 victory against the Korea Republic, the Super Falcons needed to avoid defeat against the French team to be sure of their place in the Round of 16.
Coach Thomas Dennerby’s team was on the right track of at least forcing a barren draw against France until the 77th minute when the Super Falcons were dealt a double blow.
After consultations with the VAR, a penalty kick was awarded against Nigeria and Ngozi Ebere with her second yellow card of the game was given a red thus reducing the Falcons to 10 women.
At her first take, Wendie Renard’s penalty hit the outside of the post and went wide. However, Nigeria keeper Nnadozie moved off her line before the kick, and the effort was ordered to be retaken.
Renard’s second attempt was superb, giving the 18-year-old no chance and that proved to be the winning goal of the encounter.
With the narrow loss, the Super Falcons still have a faint chance of making the knockout phase but that now depends on the outcome from the other group games.