Prime News, International Soccer, Paris, June 18:- France’s Wendie Renard was given two chances to score from the penalty spot as the hosts claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Nigeria on Monday to finish top of Group A and seal their place in the knockout stages of the Women’s Soccer World Cup.
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.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who could still reach the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams, finished with 10 players after Ngozi Ebere received a second booking in the 75th minute for a foul on Kadidiatou Diani that led to the penalty.
France will take on one of the four best third-placed finishers following their win, but face the prospect of tackling defending champions the USA in the quarter finals should the Americans as expected top Group F and win their subsequent last 16 tie.
Group A’s other match saw Norway also qualify for the knockout stages after an uninspiring 2-1 win over a feisty South Korean side that restored some pride but went home empty-handed.
Earlier on, Germany made it three wins in three matches with an emphatic 4-0 defeat of South Africa to go through to the knockout stages as Group B leaders ahead of Spain and China, who also qualified for the last 16 after a goalless draw. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)