Africa champions, Super Falcons bowed out of the 2019 Women's World Cup after losing 3-0 to two-time champions Germany in their round of 16 encounter in Grenoble on Saturday.
The Nigerians were lucky to have made it to the knockout stage as they benefited being the best losers and their hope of soaring against the Germans were shattered as they conceded three goals - twice in the first half and once after the break.
Nigeria had the first chance in this game through Francisca Ordega who smashed in a superb shot in the second minutes, but goalkeeper Almuth Schult saved it.
Five minutes later, Germany got their own chance to score when Svenja Huth provided a good assist for Lina Magull, but she could not beat Super Falcons goalie Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Germany eventually scored their first goal in the 20th minute though a superb header by Alexandra Popp as she benefited from Lina Magull's corner.
Nigerian forward Grace Uchenna Kanu wrestling the ball from her markers during the match
The Germans netted their second goal in the 27th minute via a penalty which was scored by Sara Daebritz and even Nigerian defender Evelyn Nwabuoku was given a yellow card. Super Falcons thought they would change the game in the second half, but the Germans were so strong for them scoring another goal to make it 3-0 through Lea Schuller in the 82nd minute.
In a post-match interview, head coach of Nigeria, Thomas Dennerby said: “I think we showed the whole world that Nigeria have a team that has improved a lot. Of course you’re not satisfied to go out but you also have to recognise where we came from – and we’re just not ready yet.”
He continued: "It is important to play high-level teams like Germany because the players can see that even the smallest mistakes get punished. But the second half was really good and now we just need to focus on improving and using all the FIFA dates to play matches. Because we have some really talented players back in Nigeria.”
Super Falcons opened the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Norway, claimed a 2-0 victory over Korea Republic and they were beaten 1-0 by France in their last group game, thanks to the penalty given to the hosts.
Nigeria become the second African country to bow out of the competition after South Africa. The last African representative, Cameroun will face England on June 23, at 3:30 pm.
The Germans thanking God for their victory