The Super Falcons produced a stirring comeback on Monday night to draw 3-3 with Sweden in their opening match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Sweden were two goals up within the first 31 minutes, profiting from a 20th minute Desire Oparanozie own goal and a tap-in from Nilla Fischer after a corner was not properly cleared 11 minutes later.
But Sweden gave up the 2-0 lead to Nigeria only for substitute Linda Sembrant to put the Europeans back in the lead, which Francisca Ordega cancelled out with three minutes remaining for a dramatic 3-3 draw in the first game of Group D at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
The Super Falcons, having never beaten Sweden on their three previous meetings, came out flying in the first few minutes and had the Swedes on the back foot for much of the first quarter of an hour.
Nigeria’s front line refused to go quiet, however, and just after the break two goals in quick succession levelled matters. Ngozi Okobi’s brilliant first touch afforded the No13 plenty of room and space before coolly firing past Hedvig Lindahl. Three minutes later, Asisat Oshoala, the golden shoe winner at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 opened her account for this tournament with a fine individual effort after a well-played long ball from Onome Ebi.
Sembrant handed the lead back to Sweden after good build-up play on the left side resulted in Lina Nilsson’s cross that the substitute managed to direct past Precious Dede with her thigh.
However, Ordega salvaged a point for the Super Falcons three minutes from time with a shot that managed to slip through the legs of Lindahl, leaving matters level at 3-3.