Nigeria 0-1 USA: Favourites clinch top spot with victory over Nigeria
FIFA Women's World Cup. Photo Source: @ussoccer_wnt

Nigeria 0-1 USA: Favourites clinch top spot with victory over Nigeria

USA made sure that they topped Group D with a comfortable one nil victory over Nigeria in Vancouver.

daisy-young
Daisy Young
NigeriaDede (GK), Ebi, Chukwunonye, Sunday (Ayinde, min. 50), Oshoala, Dike (Oparanozie, min. 50), Okobi, Nwabuoku (C), Ordega (Nku, min. 77), Nnodim, Ebere.
USASolo (GK), Sauerbrunn, Lloyd, Krieger, Holiday, Morgan (Leroux, min. 66), Rapinoe (Boxx, min. 74), Heath (Rampone, min. 80), Johnston, Wambach (C), Klingenberg
SCORE0-1, min. 45, Wambach.
REFEREEKateryna Monzul - Ukraine
INCIDENTSRED CARD: Nnodim (min, 70).

USA booked their place in the knock-out stages with a one nil victory over Nigeria who finished bottom of the group.

The Americans started the game all guns blazing and constantly threatened the Nigeria goal - but Nigeria's great attacking threat did cause them problems in the first-half.

Record goalscorer Abby Wambach opened up the scoring for the Americans just seconds before the half-time whistle to give them a well-deserved lead going into the break.

Remarkably this was Wambach's 14th goal at a World Cup - her first came against today's opponents Nigeria back in 2003.

The partnership of Alex Morgan and Wambach worked well up-front for the Americans and along with Megan Rapinoe, they combined to create a number of chances.

Julie Johnston had the ball in the back of the net with less than 10 minutes gone only for it to be ruled out for offside - a close call.

Wambach had beaten the offside trap to head the ball back across the goal to the unmarked Johnston but she just strayed ahead of the ball.

US star of the tournament so far - Rapinoe, made Nigeria keeper Dede into two spectacular saves to keep the scores level.

Nigeria then had a great chance of their own when Oshoala ran clear of the US defence and just had the keeper to beat when Johnston and Hope Solo combined to prevent a Nigeria goal.

Wambach's volley then broke the deadlock in what turned out to be the last kick of the first-half after Rapinoe's delightful cross allowed her to strike home what turned out to be the winning goal.

Abby Wambach celebrates her goal.

Half time: Nigeria 0 USA 1

USA started the game as they left off with Morgan have a great chance to double her side's lead but her attempted lob was pushed away by the Nigerian keeper.

The Portland forward then had an even better chance when Ali Krieger layed it on a plate for her with a precise cross and Morgan made great contact but Dede is quick off her line to block the strike.

Nigeria then went down to 10 players after Nnodim received a second yellow card after committed a foul on a US player just outside the 18-yard box.

US then began to dominate even more so, creating chance after chance as they looked for that all important second goal which would clinch the win.

They passed the ball around with confidence and brought veteran Christie Rampone on at left back - who has now appeared at five World Cup's - including being apart of the victorious 1999 USA side.

Nigeria never truly caused the Americans any real problems in the second half and the US saw the game out with ease to secure top spot in Group D.

Despite this not being an exhilarating performance from the USA they got the job done and kept up their record of making the knock-out stages of every World Cup.

They will play a third place finisher from Group B/E/F - which will be determined after tomorrow's final Group Stage matches.

Meanwhile, the other game in the group saw Australia clinch second place with a 1-1 draw against Sweden who will have to wait and see if they are one of the best third placed teams.

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