The Super Falcons of Nigeria qualified for the last 16 round of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup on Thursday night, without kicking a ball.
The 11-time African champions claimed the last third- best placed team spot after Chile could only beat Thailand 2-0 in their last group game, a result that saw the South American nation bow out of the tournament.
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses had already progressed to the last 16 round as one of the third best-placed teams after they beat New Zealand 2-1.
The Nigerian side had to face another anxious 90 minutes wait for Chile to tackle Thailand in the final group fixture and the South Americans took the lead in the 48th minute, through an own goal by Thailand’s goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing.
Maria Urrutia doubled the lead for Chile with a header on the 80th minute mark. Five minute later, the Chileans where handed a lifeline by a VAR assisted penalty, but Lara could only find the crossbar from six yards as scores remained 2-0.
Despite other late chances Chile failed to get the all-important third goal to guarantee their progress to the knockout rounds.
The result meant the South American nation were out of the tournament as Nigeria claimed the spot and will square up with Germany in a last 16 clash on June 22, at Stade des Alpes, Grenoble.
The African champions finished third in Group A after three games with three points after a 2-0 win over Korea Republic and two defeats by Norway and hosts France, but had to wait for 72 hours after Monday’s final group game to know their fate.