Wambach volley keeps USA top, sends Nigeria home

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FIFA.com) 17 Jun 2015

VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Abby Wambach of USA celebrates her Team USA goal in the first half during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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.

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Julie Johnston of USA and Desire Oparanozie of Nigeria go flying through the air after heading the ball during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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. 

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Julie Johnston of USA kicks the ball away from Desire Oparanozie of Nigeria during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Alex Morgan of USA gets airborne to head the ball during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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. 

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Megan Rapinoe of USA is tripped up by Onome Ebi of Nigeria during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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.

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Team USA poses for a team photo prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

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VANCOUVER, BC. – JUNE 16:  Team Nigeria pose for a team photo prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Group D match between USA and Nigeria June 16, 2015 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo By Derek Cain / ISN.

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Julie Johnston (USA)

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