- Nigeria face winless Ireland in their last game of Group B.
- A draw for Nigeria will see the Super Falcons advancing to the knockout stage.
- Loss against Australia and Canada means Ireland can no longer make the last-16.
- Nigeria stunned Australia 3-2 on Thursday.
- FIFA ranking: Ireland (22), Nigeria (40).
Nnadozie and Carusa down injured
Nnadozie is down hurt and clutching her shoulder. She collided with Carusa in a mid-air collision as the Nigeria keeper attempted to punch the ball away.
She gingerly gets back to her feet with Carusa eventually doing the same. The Irish player is now being checked for concussion.
85 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Alozie ventures forward
Alozie makes a charging run down the right hand-side and plays a lovely one-two with Monday, who backheels the return pass.
Alozie whips the ball into the box from the byline, but there are no Nigerian players there to meet it. Her terrific run deserved more.
81 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Monday makes an impression
Monday chases the ball down on the right, doing well to see off an Irish defender. The Tenerife forward has looked lively since coming onto the pitch.
Onumonu then concedes a foul in the middle of the park after a tussle with Agg.
Just over 10 minutes to go here – can either side find a winner?
79 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
McCabe whips a corner into the box
Ireland win a corner on the right after the lineswoman took plenty of time to give the decision.
McCabe takes it from the right. It’s an inswinger that heads straight for the Nigeria goal, but there’s a little too much curl on it and the ball lands on the roof of the net.
76 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria much improved
Nigeria look a different team to what we saw in the first half. Their passing and movement is much more clinical.
The only thing missing is a goal.
That third Australia goal in Melbourne is very good news for Nigeria, almost guaranteeing their progress to the next round.
74 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria go close from a corner
Nigeria surge forward again.
Monday threads the ball through to Payne who’s running into the Ireland box. Payne sends a low cross in, but Ireland get it behind for a corner.
The Super Falcons almost score from it, but Ireland manage to scramble the ball away on their own goal line.
71 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Two changes for Nigeria
Off: Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu
On: Ifeoma Onumonu, Gift Monday
Ireland captain Katie McCabe has also just picked up a yellow card. From the resulting Payne free kick, Onumonu plays a quick through ball looking for Ajibade but Brosnan is quick off her line to smother the ball.
68 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Third Australia goal good news for Nigeria
Nigeria know that a draw is enough to qualify for the last 16, but they look like they are keen to push for a winner in Brisbane.
We’ve just had news from Melbourne, where Australia are now 3-0 up against Canada.
As it stands, the Matildas are through as group winners with Nigeria joining them in second place.
66 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
O’Sullivan misses a chance
Ireland create their first chance of the second half.
Carusa picks up the ball on the edge of the area. She squares it to O’Sullivan who shoots at goal.
Nnadozie saves it and scrambles to get to the rebound – good goalkeeping from the Nigerian stopper.
63 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
The Super Falcons seeking out chances
Nigeria are passing the ball around patiently, waiting to find a gap in the Irish defence.
Alozie attempts a cross into the area from the right but it goes straight into the arms of Brosnan.
Ucheibe then does well to track back and snuff out an Irish attack down the left.
60 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Ireland win a free kick
Ireland win a free kick a short way inside the Nigeria half.
McCabe swings the ball into the box from long range, looking for Quinn. Nigeria struggle to get it away, with a number of deflections pinging the ball around the area.
Eventually, it’s cleared up field.
57 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria controlling the game
Brosnan is down and receiving treatment. After a short stoppage the Ireland keeper is okay to resume play and the game gets back under way.
It’s now Nigeria who are seeing much more of the ball. Roles reversed from the first half.
55 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria hit the crossbar
Nigeria almost have the lead!
Payne whips a teasing ball into the box from the left and Kanu gets up well to head it from close range but Brosan pulls off a superb save to deflect the ball onto the crossbar.
So close for The Super Falcons!
52 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria win an early corner
Nigeria win an early corner but it’s wasted by Payne as she swings the ball out of play.
Kanu then tries to whip in a cross from the other side of the field, but it’s not quite accurate enough and ends up going out of play.
47 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Second half under way
No changes for either side at half-time in Brisbane.
The second half is under way.
45 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Group B update
As it stands, Australia and Nigeria are top of Group B.
The Matildas have six points thanks to their 2-0 lead over Canada in Melbourne, with The Super Falcons second on five points.
Canada are a point behind in third, with Ireland bottom on one point.
Nigeria seem content to allow Ireland to have the play and may well be focusing on avoiding defeat rather than risking everything by going forward.
The referee blows for half-time right on 45 minutes.
Oshoala and McCabe have had the best chances of a tight first half in Brisbane.
Nigeria are doing exactly what they need to do – a draw sees them through to the knockout stages.
Half-time: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria win their first corner
Nigeria win a corner thanks to good work down the left from Plumptre. It’s the Super Falcons’ first corner of the match.
Payne takes it, but it is punched away by Brosnan. The ball finds its way back to Payne, but her lofted cross from the left is easily caught by the Ireland keeper.
44 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria happy to counter
Nigeria seem happy to allow Ireland to keep the ball and counter with their attacking pace.
It’s a tactic that is working well so far for the Super Falcons who remain in a strong position to reach the knockout stage.
Oshoala will be hoping for slightly more service as this game goes on to amend for that early miss.
40 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Ireland causing problems
Another half chance for Ireland. McCabe delivers the ball into the box from the right. It’s a deep cross beyond the back post but finds an Irish head.
The ball is flicked across the goal towards McCabe but she can’t get any power behind her header and it’s easily caught by Nnadozie.
In the other match of the group, Australia have doubled their lead against Canada. Mary Fowler puts the Matildas 2-0 ahead.
37 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Payne and Kanu battling for the ball
McCabe is popping up all over the pitch, putting in another excellent display for her country.
Payne and Kanu find themselves in a great battle for the ball in the right corner. The Nigerian comes off better and gets the ball up the pitch.
34 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Australia and Nigeria in pole position
A reminder, it’s still 1-0 to Australia in their game with Canada in Melbourne. As it stands, the Matildas and the Super Falcons are going through to the knockout stages.
Plenty of time left this evening for things to change, though.
In Brisbane, Ireland continue to keep the ball, trying to find a way to unlock Nigeria’s defence.
30 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
McCabe demands more from teammates
Ireland keep the pressure on with a series of throws on the right-hand side.
McCabe is screaming at her teammates to get the ball into space on the left. The Ireland captain looks as determined as ever.
28 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Another chance for Ireland
The Irish fans are in good voice in Brisbane, encouraged by the chances that The Girls in Green are creating.
O’Sullivan plays a lovely through ball behind a Nigeria defender to find Payne in the right corner. She whips in a beautiful ball across the box. It almost finds Farrelly who stretches out a leg at the back post, but the effort goes wide.
25 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Chances for Ireland
McCabe draws a foul from Ajibade on the left touchline, winning a free kick for Ireland.
Farrelly swings the ball into the box. It looks like an easy catch for Nnadozie but she drops the ball and almost allows an Ireland player to gain control of it.
Luckily for Nnadozie the bounce is kind and she gathers at the second attempt.
Ireland break again shortly after, with O’Sullivan finding Carusa on the right of the Nigeria area. She tries a low cross but it’s blocked. The replay shows that Carusa may have just been offside.
22 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
The Super Falcons begin to take control
Nigeria are finding their rhythm now, forcing Ireland into some mistakes at the back.
Connolly and Alozie collide while chasing down a ball in the right corner. It was a strong challenge by Alozie but a fair one.
Oshoala continues to look lively for Nigeria, chasing balls into the Ireland area.
17 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Huge chance for Nigeria
Ireland continue to have the majority of the possession, passing the ball around the back with ease.
But Nigeria disrupt their play, with Kanu picking up a misplaced pass. The Super Falcons counter quickly with a lovely pass from Kanu to Oshoala.
The Nigeria forward charges into the Ireland box, shooting across goal. But her effort is misplaced and whistles past the left post.
14 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Goal in Melbourne
There are no goals here yet, but in the other match of the group Australia have taken the lead in their must-win game against Canada.
As things stand, they are top of Group B and would qualify along with Nigeria.
11 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Ireland win a corner
Ireland win a corner which Connolly takes on the left.
The ball lands right underneath Nnadozie who punches it away. Nigeria look content despite allowing Ireland to have the ball.
Remember, a draw is enough for Nigeria to qualify.
10 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Payne looks for Carusa
Brosnan is chased down in possession but the Ireland keeper maintains composure and clears the ball upfield.
The Girls in Green are seeing plenty of the ball so far. Payne sends the ball forward looking for Carusa but the pass has too much weight on it.
8 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
McCabe goes close
McCabe almost gives Ireland the lead!
Farrelly holds up the ball on the penalty spot and turns to find McCabe charging into the box. The Ireland skipper attempts a low driving shot at goal, but it fizzes past the post.
5 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria come forward
Nigeria win a free kick midway inside the Ireland half. Payne takes it but it is easily caught by Brosnan.
Agg then plays a risky back pass to Brosnan, who manages to chase the ball down and get it away for a throw-in.
Payne cuts inside from the throw and tries to curl in a shot from outside of the area, but it drifts wide of the right-hand post.
4 mins: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Bright start for Ireland
Ireland are passing the ball around nicely.
They performed well against both Australia and Canada and will be hoping to pick up their first World Cup points tonight.
1 min: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Nigeria are in all green, whilst Ireland are wearing all white.
The Girls in Green are starting in a 3-4-3 formation with The Super Falcons opting for 4-2-3-1.
Nigeria get us under way kicking from right to left as it looks on the screen.
1 minute: Ireland 0-0 Nigeria
Teams are out
The players have entered the stadium and are lined up for the national anthems.
First up is Ireland and there is plenty of pride among their players and fanbase. It’s been a World Cup to remember for the Girls in Green and they’ll hope to be back for more.
Plenty of green in the stands
Ireland may be out of this tournament, but there’s no less enthusiasm among their fans.
It’s not a full house in Brisbane tonight, but there’s still plenty of support for both teams.
Players warming up in Brisbane
Group B comes to a conclusion
Three of the four teams in Group B can still qualify for the knockout stages, with only Ireland eliminated so far.
Nigeria top the group with four points and need a draw to secure qualification. Canada are level on points with The Super Falcons, but a place behind them in the table on goals scored.
Australia are in third, with three points from their opening two games. A victory against Canada will secure qualification for the hosts. Their star player, Sam Kerr, is just fit enough for the bench this evening.
You can follow that game here.
Nigeria XI announced
Nigeria: Chiamaka Nnadozie (GK), Ashleigh Plumptre, Osinachi Ohale, Toni Payne, Asisat Oshoala, Christy Ucheibe, Uchenna Kanu, Blessing Demehin, Rasheedat Ajibade, Halimatu Ayinde, Michelle Alozie.
Ireland XI announced
Ireland: Courtney Brosnan (GK), Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Megan Connolly, Ruehsa Littlejohn, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe (C), Lily Agg, Heather Payne, Sinead Farrelly, Kyra Carusa.
While you’re here …
Check out our recent Women’s World Cup features:
- After a slow build-up, a World Cup buzz grows in New Zealand
- ‘Incredible growth’: The rise of Australian women’s football
- ‘The ACL club’: The injury crisis plaguing women’s football
- Who can dethrone the US football team?
Photos: Ireland and Nigeria in World Cup action
Canada vs Ireland
Nigeria vs Australia
Which teams are through to the round of 16?
So far, five teams have qualified for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup:
Japan and Spain, two of the tournament’s standout teams, have already qualified for the last 16 after dominant wins over Zambia and Costa Rica.
Sweden advanced to the knockout stages after a win of 5-0 over Italy. The Swiss finished top of Group A thanks to a 0-0 draw with New Zealand in Dunedin, while Norway hammered the Philippines 6-0 in Auckland to overtake the co-hosts in the standings on goal difference.
Seven teams have already been eliminated:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
Ireland’s first World Cup
Ireland’s debut appearance also marks the nation’s first World Cup since its men’s team reached the round of 16 in 2002.
The extended hiatus intensified the support the team received from Irish supporters in all parts of the world.
“The players have been taken back by the amount of Irish support,” defender Megan Connolly said.
“We want to keep doing them proud and show them what we’re made of. We want to come out of this tournament giving them something to really cheer about.”
The venue: Lang Park
Venue: Brisbane Stadium, also known as Lang Park and Suncorp Stadium, is a 52,000-seat venue on the northwestern edge of Brisbane’s central area.
It is Brisbane’s major sporting and entertainment hub. Nicknamed “The Cauldron”, it will host eight games including a quarter-final and the third-place play-off.
Here is the schedule:
- Group B: Ireland vs Nigeria
- Group H: South Korea vs Germany, 8pm (10:00 GMT) – August 3
- Round of 16: Winner D vs Runners-up B, 5.30pm (7:30 GMT) – August 7
- Quarter-final, 5pm (07:00 GMT) – August 12
- Third-place playoff, 6pm (10:00 GMT) – August 19
Ireland still playing with something to prove in last game of their debut
Following two narrow losses that ended their chances of advancing to the knockout stage on debut at the Women’s World Cup, Ireland remain motivated to play for more than just a result against Nigeria on Monday.
“We still have something to fight for,” midfielder Lily Agg said. “That’s our pride, that’s our passion and that’s who we are as Irish players. We’re going to leave it all out there on Monday and, hopefully, do Ireland proud.”
The Irish are yet to pick up a competition point despite pushing two top-10 teams to the limit. In front of almost 76,000 people in the tournament opener, a second-half penalty was the difference in Ireland’s 1-0 loss to co-hosts Australia. Ireland struck first in their next match against Canada, but two goals from the Olympic champions left the Irish empty-handed once again.
“We can compete with the best, and I think we’ve proven that,” Agg said. “We’ve got so much talent, and it’s now just about making that next step as a team and fighting to win.”
Don’t underestimate us, warns Nigeria World Cup coach
Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum says his team had been “underestimated and underappreciated” as they strive to seal their place in the Women’s World Cup last 16 on Monday.
Waldrum’s side suffered a turbulent build-up to the tournament, the American coach clashing openly with the Nigerian football authorities over planning and unpaid wages. Add that to being in one of the toughest groups, Nigeria were not expected to reach the knockout stages for only the third time.
Waldrum told reporters on Sunday that they had shown they were better than that and their FIFA ranking of 40th.
“I would say that we were underestimated and underappreciated,” the 66-year-old said on the eve of their meeting in Brisbane with the Irish.
“Hopefully we’ve proven that to the world right now that we belong in a higher place [than the 40th].”
Welcome to our live blog
Hello and welcome to the 12th day of the Women’s World Cup 2023.
Ireland will take on Nigeria in Group B with kickoff at 8pm (10:00 GMT) at Lang Park.
Nigeria stunned Australia 3-2 in their last game and sit top of the pool with four points. Victory over the Irish, who have already been eliminated, would seal the Super Falcons’ passage into the round of 16.
“We have shown we are a better team than number 40 in the world,” Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum told reporters.
Having said that, Waldrum knows they have a battle ahead against a Republic of Ireland side that narrowly lost their first two games to Australia and Canada and were unfortunate not to get more from those contests.
“It is going to be a very difficult game. People may think I am crazy for saying this, but I think it could be our hardest match. Ireland have been a bit unlucky in the first two matches and could have got a result,” he said.
“We are not expecting them to lay down because they are going home already, I am expecting to get the best from them and have been very impressed with their team and their organisation.”
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA