FIFAWWC: Super Falcons progress as Ireland pick point

... Australia keep World Cup hopes alive

FIFAWWC: Super Falcons progress as Ireland pick point

The Republic of Ireland finished their first World Cup campaign with a 0-0 tie against Nigeria, who advanced to the round of 16 and could face England.

The result, combined with Australia’s victory over Canada, meant that the Super Falcons, the lowest-ranked team in Group B, qualified second, ahead of the Olympic champions.

The Irish were already eliminated after losses to Australia and Canada, but they earned their first World Cup point in their final encounter.

In a low-key match in Brisbane, the Nigerians came close to breaking through when Courtney Brosnan saved Uchenna Kanu’s header with a superb save.

Nigeria took off Oshoala, who had been nursing an injury, but they were still strong going forward and Lily Agg and Louise Quinn had to be alert to make goal-saving blocks.

McCabe came close to repeating her ‘Olympico’ goal against Canada when her corner kick landed on the roof of the net as the crowd of 24,884 held its breath, but they were disappointed as Ireland’s search for a winning goal failed to come to fruition.

The Nigerian support celebrated wildly at the full-time whistle as the Super Falcons qualified for the last-16 for the second consecutive World Cup.

Nigeria will face the winners of Group D in Brisbane, which could be England if they draw with or beat China on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Australia advanced to the last-16 stage of the Women’s World Cup after defeating Canada.

Hayley Raso scored twice, Mary Fowler also scored, and Steph Catley converted a late penalty for the co-hosts, who needed to win to avoid elimination.

The Matildas won Group B despite the fact that Sam Kerr was an unused sub despite declaring herself fit.

Canada was eliminated from the Women’s World Cup group stage for the first time since 2011.

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