Nigeria’s Super Falcons started their World Cup badly with a 3-0 whip-lash by Norway.
The Nigerian ladies initially started well, but were stunned as Guro Reiten’s shot deflected off defender Onome Ebi and flew into the net on 17 minutes – keeper Tochukwu Oluehi was left rooted.
Oluehi was left picking the ball again as Lisa-Marie Utland powered another shot on 34 minutes after being set free by Reiten’s pass.
With the duo of captain Desire Oparanozie and midfield dynamo Francisca Ordega booked, and key striker Asisat Osoala left isolated, it was no surprise the Falcons surrendered three minutes later as defender Osinachi Ohale turned in a cross to seal any hopes of a come-back.
Misplaced passes, poor ball control and a seemingly subdued outlook characterised the Falcons play.
Falcons gaffer Dennerby made a tactical switch to a 3-4-3 formation, but nothing changed.
Defender Faith Michael was harried off with what could be a tournament-ending injury.
The Norwegian centre-back pairing of Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir ensured the Falcons attack had no joy going forward.
The Falcons now have a back-to-the-wall job on their hands as they will have to get a result against an angrt Korea Republic and a Lyon-inspired host France.
If they don’t, it’s goodbye.