By evangelist.com.ng edition, Friday July 21, 2023.
As Abiodun saw red card
A 48 minute penalty saved by Super Falcons’ first choice goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie ensured that Nigeria held the Olympic champions Canada to a barren draw which was enough to secure one point from the position of losing all in the first Group B match at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in the early hours of Friday.
Veteran winger, Francisca Ordega had fouled Canada’s legendary striker, Christine Sinclair in the Nigerian box three minutes into the second half. Referee Lina Lehtovaara, who has served as a referee in 73 matches across various competitions in her international career, had ignored the infringement.
However, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Pol van Boekel called for review of the challenge, after which a penalty was awarded against the Super Falcons of Nigeria.
But the resultant penalty taken by Sinclair, 14-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year Award and World’s All-time leader for international goals scored for men or women with 190 goals, saw her shot saved by Nnadozie.
The Paris FC goalkeeper, timed Sinclair’s steps and dived to her most effective left-hand side of the post to make a double save to keep Nigeria in the race for the second round ticket in this difficult group that has co-host Australia and Republic of Ireland