Super Falcons of Nigeria fought valiantly but eventually lost by a controversial video assistant referee (VAR) call to host nation France on Monday in Rennes as the curtain was drawn on Group A of the 8thFIFA Women’s World Cup finals.
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.
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.
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This decision however didn’t sit well with a lot of fans who showed displeasure at the new rule.
Come on get out https://t.co/q0zSEZDLyx
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) June 17, 2019
Farcical VAR decision again. Keeper marginally off line as penalty taken and receives yellow card BUT nothing said about french player in the box! #FIFAWWC2019 #NGAFRA #NGA #FRA #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/v5a4fWyqMV
— James Daniel Malin (@JDMalin) June 17, 2019
Well done to Falcons. They rode their luck, but showed enough resilience and resolve that convinced they are African Champions! #FIFAWWC
— iBD10 (@booday10) June 17, 2019
So if not for penalty, it would have been a draw.
Rubbish. I'm so upset.
— The (@DamiElebe) June 17, 2019
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) June 17, 2019
How won't you feel for her
When there are more French players in the area and that this should prohibit to repeat the penalty. Adding to that, VAR rules are made for 4 cases and none of them calls to see how a GK is positioned on the line@FIFAWWC is a joke pic.twitter.com/jk6FYP5vS8
— Eliezer Mvuezolo (@ElReyMeister) June 17, 2019
Been watching Nigeria play actively for like 18 years and I can boldly say I’ve never seen this level of defensive organization in our national team.
If only we could keep the ball as well as we’ve defended it
— Obi of Funaland (@Monsiuer_T) June 17, 2019
Our goalkeeper is crying. This shit is heartbreaking. I'm not one for violence against women but I'll def open this referees' apartment door for her cat to run away. Rubbish
— Imoh (@ImohUmoren) June 17, 2019
— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 17, 2019
THE RULE: U must have A FOOT on the line as a keeper during a penalty … Once both feet leaves the line …. It will be retaken.
1. What if the player scores ??
2. What if nobody complains for VAR Check ??
3. Why check with VAR when nobody complained ??
— Jubril A. Gawat (@Mr_JAGs) June 17, 2019
It is however not over for the Super Falcons of Nigeria as the four best third –placed teams in the six groups will join the two top –placed teams in each group in the Round of 16.
So depending on how results from Tuesday’s games pan out, the Super Falcons might have just done enough to seal a place in the next round.