2019 Women's World Cup: Nigeria face dicey task against Germany in Round of 16 tie

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
Nigeria up against Germany in the Round of 16 tie
Nigeria up against Germany in the Round of 16 tie

African Champions, Nigeria face a daunting task against two-time champions, Germany in the Round of 16 tie on Saturday as the 2019 Women's World Cup in France gets to the knockout stage.

The Super Falcons on Wednesday progressed from the group stage as one of the best third-placed team from Group A, having lost to Norway and France and a win against South Korea.

This is the first time in 10 years that Nigeria have advanced from the group stage, the only time being in 1999 when they reached the quarter-finals in the tournament staged in the USA.

Having been lucky to have survived the group stages, the Super Falcons would have to give it their all and maintain their composure to match up to the Germans and keep their dream of making it to the quarter-finals alive.

 

Nigeria's defence will have to show resilience against Germany

With the participating teams now 24, the nine-times African champions survived as one of the best third-placed teams making it from Group A with  losses to Norway (3-0), France (1-0) and a 2-0 win against South Korea.

Despite boasting of an experienced forward line, the Falcons scored only a goal at the group stage and they will have to improve upon that record if they are to survive against a resilient Germany side.

Die Nationalelf (The National Eleven) as the Germans are nicknamed, go into this game, hoping to advance and do better than they did in 2015 where they exited at the quarter-finals.

The Germans pose a threat to Nigeria's dream at France 2019

Champions in 2003 and successively defending title in 2007,  the former champions will be stepping up their game after a rather cagey group performance which nonetheless saw them finishing as Group B winners after wins against China (1-0), Spain (1-0) and an emphatic 4-0 against tournament debutants, South Africa.

Having recorded that huge win in their final group game, Germany may be hoping of similar result against the African champions.

Forward Asisat Oshoala needs to score to help Nigeria beat Germany

This is the second time the two sides are clashing in the WWC, though they are familiar foes at the Under-20 level.
The only time they have played each other the senior level was in 2011 when they clashed in Group A which the Europeans won 1-0.

Nigeria recovered well from their stuttering 0-3 loss in their opening game to Norway and the performance in their other group games saw showed a confidence defence set up. While they are capable of keeping the Germany attack in check, Coach Thomas Dennerby must also get his forwards built around captain Desiree Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala to break down the resolute Germany defence which is yet to concede a goal.