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Nigeria upset South Korea for rare World Cup win

Nigeria took their chances against the run of play on Wednesday to beat South Korea 2-0 for a rare success at the World Cup and a possible place in the next stage of the tournament.

A first-half own-goal at the Stade des Alps and a breakaway attack, brilliantly finished by Asisat Oshoala, ensured the African champions claimed only their fourth win in eight World Cup finals appearances and a strong chance of going to the second round for just the second time.

The Koreans, beaten 4-0 by hosts France in the tournament opener last Friday, are all but out of contention after a surprise setback in their second Group A game.

After weathering Korea’s early attacks, Nigeria went ahead just before the half hour mark when defender Kim Do-yeon miscued an effort to clear a long ball through the middle and steered it past her own goalkeeper, Kim Min-jung, who had come rushing out of her goal and was left stranded.

There was a lengthy Video Assistant Referee review to see whether Nigeria’s captain, Desire Oparanozie, might have brushed the ball with her hand but there was no conclusive evidence to rule out the goal.

Korea were pulled back for offside when they found the net in the 58th minute before a Nigerian counter-attack saw Oshoala, a three-time African women’s Footballer of the Year, ran half the length of the field, brushed past a defender, rounded the ‘keeper and squeezed the ball home from an improbable angle.

She might have scored in similar fashion just two minutes later but a heavy first touch saw the opportunity slip away.

Nigeria lost their opening game 3-0 to Norway in Reims on Saturday.

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