Second-half goals surfaced from Osinachi O’Hare and Asisat Oshoara saw Nigeria beat co hosts Australia 3-2 on goal difference to top Group B.
Van Egmond’s goal gave the hosts the lead, but Nigeria struck back just before half-time with Uchenna Kanu’s goal.
Two goals after the break gave the Super Falcons their first win of the tournament.
Thanks to an excellent finish from Emily van Egmond, the Matildas took the lead in stoppage time against a compact, energetic and well-positioned Nigerian team, but Uchenna Kanu equalized seconds later.
Randy Waldrum’s Nigeria had a typical second-half break with further goals from Osinachi Ohail and substitute Asisat Oshoala surprising the crowd of more than 40,000 at Brisbane Stadium.
Alana Kennedy’s header in the 9th minute of 11 games in stoppage time was not enough as Nigeria led Canada on four points on goal difference and Australia trailed by three.
Nigeria, jubilant after a 0-0 draw with Canada in their opener, are confident they can secure a place in the last 16 with a win over eliminated Ireland in Monday’s group final match.
Matilda dominated all major stats except the vital one. They enjoyed 64 percent of possession, totted up 28 attempts on goal and also basked in 15 corner kicks, but came up against an obdurate and well-organised opponent in Nigeria, who became the first African side to win a match at this competition.
The home team’s opening goal was a thing of beauty, converted by Emily van Egmond arriving late in the box with a smart side foot finish, but it was the danger that lurked at the back that ultimately undid them as they were caught napping to enable Uchenna Kanu to find the equaliser with her side’s first real attempt of the match.
In failing to heed the warnings, the second half began in similar fashion with Nigeria dealing supremely well in defending corner kicks while restricting the home side to speculative efforts from long range.
With the tension palpable among the home fans, Nigeria seized the advantage as Osinachi Ohale bravely headed into the net on 65 minutes after more sluggish defending before Nigeria substitute Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona, clearly troubling the home players, raced around the Australian keeper Mackenzie Arnold to convert after a mix-up in defence.
The Aussie fans knew it was probably game up then despite Alanna Kennedy heading home a consolation in the death throes of added time.
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