Nigeria: Gallant Falcons Wait As France, Norway Advance to Knockout

Super Falcons pin hope on others to qualify as one of the best losers.

Host France and Norway yesterday won their final group matches to progress to the knockout stage at the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup in France but hard fighting Super Falcons will have to wait for results elsewhere to know if they would qualify as one of the best losers.

While Norway beat Korea 2-1, France laboured to down 10-man Super Falcons 1-0 in the other group match played at Roazhon Park in Rennes.

Caroline Graham Hansen gave Norway an early lead from the spot after Cho So-hyun was judged to have grabbed Maria Thorisdottir in the third minute, before winning the decisive second penalty shortly after the break when she was chopped down by Kang Chae-rim.

The Barcelona attacker had to watch while she received treatment on the sidelines as Isabell Herlovsen just squeezed home Norway's second to secure the points from a nervy encounter and seal second place in Group A, despite Yeo Min-ji's poked finish 12 minutes from time.

France meanwhile will take on one of the four best third-placed finishers following their 1-0 win, but face the prospect of tackling defending champions the USA in the quarterfinals should the Americans as expected top Group F and win their subsequent last 16 tie.

The French needed a point to take first place in the group but Renard gave them all three from the spot at the second attempt, after Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was judged to have encroached for Renard's first effort, which hit the post.

Germany meanwhile ensured they missed the Americans in the next round after they topped Group B with a perfect nine points following a comprehensive 4-0 win over South Africa earlier on Monday.

It could instead be Spain, who qualify for the next round in second place behind the Germans after a goalless draw with also-through China, to play the world's

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