France Win After Late Penalty Drama Leaves Nigeria Waiting On World Cup Fate

17th June 2019
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Hosts France finished top of Group A after a twice-taken penalty by Wendie Renard gave them a 1-0 win over Nigeria in an incident-packed finish in Rennes.

The initial penalty – awarded after a video assistant referee review for a foul on Viviane Asseyi – hit the post.

But keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was ruled to have moved off her line early and Renard slotted the re-taken spot kick.

Nigeria still have a big chance of making the knockout stage as one of the best third-placed teams.

France, meanwhile, head to Le Havre to play a last-16 tie against, as yet, unknown opponents on 23 June.

This was an unconvincing display by Corinne Diacre’s side against a team ranked 38th in the world, with France guilty of wasteful finishing before late drama in Brittany.

Nigeria, who had produced a gritty defensive performance, were on course for a deserved point when a penalty was awarded after a VAR check following Ngozi Ebere’s foul on Asseyi.

Ebere, who had been booked in the first half, was sent off for a second yellow card before Renard’s first penalty hit a post. However, the officials adjudged 18-year-old Nnadozie had left her line early and Renard duly scored from the second attempt.

It continued Renard’s eventful World Cup – the Lyon player now has three goals at this tournament in addition to scoring a calamitous own goal.

“When it came to it, the players were asking me whether I wanted to take another go at it, and I decided I was going to take the penalty again,” said Renard.

“It was very good for the team, and also for me as well.”

Wendie Renard scores at the second attempt
France have scored two penalties at the 2019 Women’s World Cup – although this one had to be taken twice

From 1 June, new laws came into force, including one that states the keeper must have one foot partly on the goalline (or above it if jumping) when the kick is taken.

It was heartbreak for Nigeria, who had produced a disciplined defensive performance to frustrate a partisan 28,267 crowd in Rennes.

France carved out plenty of chances but it was not until the 65th minute that they managed a first shot on target, Amel Majri shooting straight at the keeper.

Nigeria will have to wait to see if they qualify as a best-placed third place side. They have only qualified once before for the knockout stages, in 1999.

Teams into last 16 of the Women’s World Cup so far
England Italy
Germany France
The Netherlands Canada
Sweden USA
Japan Germany
Spain China
Norway

Perfect three – the stats

  • France have won all three group games at a Women’s World Cup for the first time.
  • Nigeria’s Ngozi Ebere is the second player to be sent off at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, after South Africa’s Nothando Vilakazi against Spain.
  • The red card was Nigeria’s third in the Women’s World Cup – the joint-most in the tournament’s history with the United States.
  • Nigeria failed to have a shot on target.

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