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USA sweep into Second Round
 Women's Football News 17 Jun 2015
 
United States 1 (Wambach 45) Nigeria 0
Abby Wambach scored on the stroke of half time to confirm the United States as winners of the 'Group of Death' whilst Nigeria's participation in the tournament is over. 
 
In front of a fanatical crowd in Vancouver, which rendered the game a virtual 'home' match for the USA, a largely evenly contested game was settled by a moment of opportunism from Wambach, who drew level with Birgit Prinz' World Cup tally of 14 goals and one behind record holder Marta.
 
Nigeria started the match confidently and Asisat Oshoala was unlucky with an effort that was just past the post. USA then thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half when, following a corner, the ball was pumped into the area and Wambach nodded down for Julie Johnston to sweep in, but celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
 
Megan Rapinoe was once again at the heart of most of the USA's moves and the energetic midfielder twice tried her luck from long range, forcing Precious Dede to save.
 
Oshoala was in lively form at the other end and the Liverpool striker was in a great position to give Nigeria the lead when she burst through with only Hope Solo to beat but she was foiled by a brilliant saving tackle from Johnston.
 
In the last minute of the first half, Rapinoe floated a corner into the area and to the far post where Wambach escaped her marker and gave Dede no chance with a cushioned volley.
 
After the break, Alex Morgan had a chance to double the lead when she was released by a great pass from Rapinoe but her lob was not quite high enough and Dede did well to save.
 
Back came Nigeria with Desire Oparanozie curling a long range free kick inches over the bar but Dede was to excel herself again at the other end with a brilliant point blank save to deny Morgan following a good run and cross from Ali Krieger.
 
Nigeria's task was made even harder when they were reduced to ten players after Sarah Nnodim was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Sydney Leroux.
 
From that moment on, USA showed their experience by keeping the ball and making sure there was no respite for Nigeria, ensuring they marched into the last sixteen in confident mood. 
 
United States: Hope Solo, Ali Krieger, Meghan Klingenberg, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Johnston, Lauren Holiday, Megan Rapinoe (sub Shannon Boxx 74mins), Alex Morgan (sub Sydney Leroux 66mins), Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd (sub Christie Rampone 80mins).

Nigeria: Precious Dede, Sarah Nnodim, Ngozi Ebere, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Onome Ebi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Esther Sunday (sub Halimatu Ayinde 50mins), Asisat Oshoala, Ngozi Okobi, Courtney Dike (sub Desire Oparanozie 50mins), Francisca Ordega (sub Cecilia Nku 77mins).

Player of the match: Julie Johnston.
 
 
 GROUP D   P   W   D   L   F   A   Pts 
 UNITED STATES   3   2   1   0   4   1   7 
 AUSTRALIA   3   1   1   1   4   4   4 
 SWEDEN   3   0   3   0   4   4   3 
 NIGERIA   3   0   1   2   3   6   1 


 
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