Nigeria’s Super Falcons lost for the first time to Canada, bowing 2-1 to the North Americans at Pinatar Arena in a friendly match, yesterday.
Prior to the match, the Africans boasted of an unbeaten record against the Canadians – a 3-3 draw in 1995 and a 1-0 win in 2011.
Desire Oparanozie’s first-half goal was not enough to help the African champions avoid defeat to Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s team no thanks to second-half strikes from Janine Beckie and Sophie Schmidt.
The defeat was the fourth for Dennerby’s side in eight games so far this year in their preparations for the global showpiece this summer in France. Thomas Dennerby’s side made an impressive start to the encounter when Rita Chikwelu made a good run into the area but her shot failed to trouble goalkeeper McLeod Erin in the 23rd minute.
Three minutes later, Uchenna Kanu’s pass found Oparanozie on a counter-attack and the Guingamp forward managed to beat her marker to score her first goal of the year and Nigeria’s opener.
Having conceded their first goal in six games this year, Canada fought back two minutes after the restart through Beckie’s strike to level matters.
In the 53rd minute, Schmidt’s header beat hapless goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi to put the fifth-ranked women’s football nation in front.