An Abby Wambach strike seconds before the half-time break earned three points and top spot in Group D for USA at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ after a 1-0 win against Nigeria in Vancouver.
A well balanced first 45 minutes finally fell in the Americans’ favour when Wambach connected on Rapinoe’s corner kick and volleyed home at the far post. Earlier, Julie Johnston thought she gave the Stars and Stripes the lead, but her finish was ruled offside. Asisat Oshoala had the best chance for Nigeria 24 minutes in, but Johnston executed a perfectly timed tackle to interrupt Oshoala’s shot.
Rapinoe threatened Dede’s goal twice from long range and Alex Morgan nearly doubled the Americans’ lead just after the interval but couldn’t lift it over the Super Falcons No1. Dede once again denied the American No13 with 30 minutes remaining.
Things became harder for Nigeria in the 69th minute when Sarah NNodim picked up her second yellow card as a result of bringing down Sydney Leroux just outside the area. With their numerical advantage intact, USA kept possession well and limited Nigeria’s chances in the second half and smart, experienced play kept the ball in the Americans’ control to the delight of a significant majority of the 52,193 person crowd at BC Place, largely occupied by fans dressed in red, white and blue.