Early strike sets Nigeria on the way
© Foto-net

Nigeria have made a winning start in Group D at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, coming out 2-1 winners against Korea Republic.

The game got off to a stunning start, with Nigerian midfielder Soo Adekwagh taking advantage of a canny lay-off to try a chip from 20 metres after only 20 seconds, which deceived Korean keeper Lee Hyo-Ju and sailed in at the far post.

The rest of the half produced few chances. Ebere Orji was released on the left on eight minutes, but could not guide her shot inside the post. Two more half-chances for Nigeria arrived around the half-hour mark, but they were unable to add to their early lead. For their part, Korea Republic did not give their boisterous supporters much to cheer about, with too many promising moves breaking down. In the final minute of the half, Desire Oparanozie almost emulated Adekwagh's earlier effort, but her left-footed chip clipped the bar.

Although Korea Republic began the second half with greater urgency, Park Hee-Young grazing the bar on 47 minutes, Nigeria doubled their advantage on the hour mark when substitute Amenze Aighewi pounced on a poor back-pass to score. Six minutes from the close, Ji So-Yun took advantage of a similar defensive mistake to give Korea Republic some consolation.