An Abby Wambach volley seconds before half-time earned USA a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in Vancouver, which sent them through as Group D winners and eliminated their opponents.
A well balanced first 45 minutes finally fell in the Americans’ favour when Wambach struck Megan Rapinoe’s corner home at the far post.
Earlier, Julie Johnston thought she gave the Stars and Stripes the lead, but her finish was ruled offside. Asisat Oshoala had the best chance for Nigeria 24 minutes in, but Johnston executed a perfectly timed tackle to interrupt the African’s shot.
Rapinoe threatened Dede’s goal twice from long range, and Alex Morgan nearly doubled the Americans’ lead just after the interval but couldn’t lift it over the Super Falcons No1. Dede once again denied the American No13 with 30 minutes remaining.
Things became harder for Nigeria in the 69th minute, when Sarah NNodim picked up her second yellow card as a result of bringing down Sydney Leroux just outside the area. With their numerical advantage intact, USA kept possession well, with smart, experienced play delighting a significant majority of the 52,193 crowd at BC Place.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Julie Johnston (USA)