The Lionesses played all three rounds of Group D and won all three matches against Haiti, Denmark, and China. Coach Sabrina Weigman of England currently hopes that the Lionesses will win in order to be eligible to the World Cup and demonstrate to the world that women can be as dominating as men’s teams. Coach Randy Waldrum, the head coach of the Nigerian Women’s National Soccer Team, is also the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers Women’s Soccer Team during the academic year. England must eventually defeat Nigeria. The match was held at Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
The match began with England having great possession of the ball and dominating the first ten minutes. By the 10th minute, Nigeria was in possession of the ball, and the goalkeeper had volleyed it far over the goal line, resulting in a corner kick. Lauren James was able to boot the ball out of Nigeria’s control after they took the corner kick. Nigeria gained complete control in the 17th minute, and Mary Earps made two saves for England, nearly giving England an early shock that they were fortunate to avoid for a costly goal and punted away. James nearly gave Aleissa Russo a goal for England in the 22nd minute, but the young goaltender was able to make a fantastic stop. England took a corner kick in the 28th minute, but the Nigerian defense saved it, preventing England from scoring. Rachel Daly was ready to receive the ball when it was shoved, and the referee had a superb eye for an England penalty. Nigeria, on the other hand, had additional options for asking the referee to double-check the foul, which was reviewed and checked out of VAR to see whether there was a foul. It turned out that it was used before it was pushed, but it backfired on the foul, revealing that there was no penalty, which incensed England. Following that, Stanway sent the ball to Lucy Bronze, who played it to Lauren James, and the goalkeeper was able to save England’s corner kick. England got the corner in the 40th minute, but James kicked it above the goal line from the same location. The match finished 0-0 in the first half, which England was unhappy with due to a disallowed penalty kick, but the Lionesses had a great chance of keeping their confidence intact on the ball, which Nigeria had given them a fantastic performance.
During the second half, England was expecting to reclaim their advantage until Nigeria seized possession of the ball, forcing England to play more defensive. By the 56th minute, Greenwood had taken the free kick to Ruso but had swiftly headed out of bounds. The audience carried out the wave in the 62nd minute to keep themselves passionate as the game remained 0-0. England took the corner kick in the 66th minute, but Yewande Balogun, the goalie, saved it, and she leaped up like she was on the monkey bars. Nigeria took a corner kick in the 71st minute, but it flew out of bounds, but Mary Herps fell down and called for assistance to regain her grip. She was fortunate that nothing significant occurred while Coach Wiegman advised England to regain possession more frequently and make an effort to score in order to take full advantage. England took a corner kick in the 76th minute, and the goalie made a tremendous save, giving the Lionesses their best chance yet to score. By the 85th minute, Lauren James made a cheeky foul at Michelle Alozie but the referee initially gave her a yellow but the crew of VAR noticed the foul and the referee decided to stop the match to double check with VAR screen. It was revealed that the yellow card is no longer valid and has been replaced by a red card, implying that James knew she would be taken away for a nasty fowl. The two European Championship players who scored, Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly, were substituted on in the 88th minute to offer England hope. England fought everything they could to stay alive, and the match ended 0-0, sending them to extra time and maybe a penalty shootout if the outcome remained the same.
The Lionesses were keen to prevail so they could go to the Quarterfinals, where they would face the Falcons in a tight encounter. England is still seeking for a spectacular glory, but they must play wisely in order to advance to the Quarterfinals. To achieve a successful performance, the squad must tighten possession and play as a unit. In extra time, both teams had a great chance to break through the tie, and there could only be one winner. At the 98th minute, Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie almost scored but couldn’t get her left foot in the goal.During the final few minutes of the first extra time, Nigeria grabbed control of the ball, while England appeared exhausted and hoped for further success. Both teams convened on their respective sides to devise fresh methods to keep the game alive in the hope of a match winner. When the second half of extra time began, both sides carried possession but needed to break the tie. At the 110th minute, Nigeria’s Francisca Ordega had almost scored, and England is fortunate to remain in the game. Nigeria nearly scored the game-winning goal in the 117th minute, but Mary Earps made a fantastic stop on the ball. At the 118th minute, England received a few kicks, and Millie Bright nearly gave the Lionesses a victory goal, but it fell short of her foot. Extra time has ended, and both sides will now compete in a penalty shootout.
During the Penalty Shootout, it is determined that England and Nigeria will have to go to sudden death to see which side can win the match; this is the FIFA Women’s World Cup’s second penalty shootout since USA vs Sweden took a mighty victory to crush the American Dream of getting another repeat. It all began in England. Georgia Stanway, but she missed the far left goal. When Nigerian Desire Oparnozie attempted the penalty kick, it was unsuccessful in the same manner. Bethany England went up and scored the goal, maintaining her perfect career record in all penalty shootouts. Mary Herps desires to save England, but Michelle Alozie of Nigeria booted it too high, giving England belief. Rachel Daly rose up and kicked it inside the top left corner of the goal post, giving England a better chance of winning the penalty shootout. Rasheedat Ajiibade of Nigeria was fortunate just to score when she took the kick. By the time Alex Greenwood of England stepped up to take the penalty shot, the ball had already gone inside the right goal post. When Nigeria’s Christy Ucheibe scored a penalty kick, Herp did not move. When it was Chloe Kelly’s time, it was established that she assisted England in winning the European Championship, that she scored a penalty winner in the 2023 Women’s Finalissima against Brazil, and that she now has the chance to win it in the Round of 16 Penalty Shootout. Kelly scored by kicking the ball, giving England a courageous win in the first knockout match of the Round of 16.
Both England and Nigeria huddled up and give handshakes for a really good performance. Others got upset and cheered them up that the team has played their best which it shows heroism and dedication of their positive spirit to teach young girls could play soccer in future generations to show what a soccer match should really mean to give credit. Although England had struggled to keep possession of the ball and lack of scoring opportunities which they didn’t use enough confidence to keep the match alive, but the team was lucky enough to move on the next round. The Lionesses will now face either Columbia or Jamaica in the quarterfinals.
Even though Nigeria was very strong throughout the match, the Lionesses had their finest effort. They must now concentrate on the pressure, even if they begin to fall short on their most successful players, in order to desire the performance and reclaim their clever moves.