Hope may be alive yet for Nigeria’s Super Falcons who lost their shot into the Round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup to host country France, just to days ago.
Due to a newly-introduced FIFA rule, the Super Falcons of Nigeria were heartbroken as their qualification hopes for the Round of 16 at the ongoing Women’s World Cup in France was thrown in the balance.
The new rule (at penalties) is that the goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the line and once this is not fully adhered to, a retake is given and the goalkeeper cautioned.
In Monday’s match between France and Nigeria, Wendie Renard’s first attempt went wide, but scored with a second opportunity, following a video replay showing Chiamaka Nnadozie marginally in front of the goal line.
However, 48 hours later, that same rule seems to have given Nigeria a lifeline as Argentina remarkably albeit with the help of VAR came from three goals down to force Scotland to a 3-3 draw.
With this development, Scotland have been sent home after the same thing that happened in the Nigeria-France game played out in the dying moments against Argentina on Wednesday.
However, Scotland’s heartbreak is now Nigeria’s joy as the chance of the Falcons to qualify for the Round of 16 has just gotten brighter.
Argentina also have a small lifeline with two points. The South Americans will need New Zealand vs Cameroon and Thailand vs Chile to be drawn to pull through.
Out of the four slots available for the best third-placed teams, two has already been taken by China and Brazil who have four and six points respectively from their group games.
For the Super Falcons to confirm their place, they would be fine if New Zealand vs Cameroon and Thailand vs Chile games end in stalemates.
They would also pull through if the winner of New Zealand vs Cameroon game does not record more than a goal margin victory.
By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
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