By John Egbokhan
Super Falcons Monday night suffered a slim 1-0 loss to France in their final group A match of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Rennes. They now face an anxious wait of the conclusion of other group games to know if they will qualify as one of the four teams to go through as best third-placed finishers.
Playing for at least a draw to guarantee their passage to the round of 16, the Super Falcons battled valiantly but were unlucky to concede a penalty after defender Ngozi Ebere was adjudged by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)to have fouled French forward Viviane Asseyi, who went over under apparent contact from Ebere on 74 minutes
Ebere, who was already in a yellow card, bagged on 28 minutes, received her marching order after getting a second yellow card. She was stunned by the sending off but had to leave the pitch.
The ensuing penalty kick by Wendie Renard was missed with Nigerian players rushing to celebrate with goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadlzie. But more VAR drama cropped up as the penalty was ordered to be retaken and Nnadozie given a yellow card for coming out of the line with both feet before the kick was taken by Renard, who wasted no time in scoring the second penalty opportunity to send France top of group A with nine points for three matches.
Super Falcons, with three points and goals difference of minus two, will now have to wait till the conclusion of the remaining games in groups C,, D, E and F to know if they will progress to the round of 16.