Nigeria booked their place in the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup after a 0-0 draw with Ireland to finish second behind co-hosts Australia who thrashed Canada 4-0 to progress themselves.

Nigeria, from Group B, will meet the winners of Group D which is most likely to be European champions England.

The Nigerians, who upset Australia 3-2 on their last visit to Brisbane, recovered from a sloppy first half to get the draw they needed and reach the knockout stage for only the third time in nine attempts.

The Nigerians showed little of the flair that helped them down Australia in the last match, particularly during a scrappy first half during which they were outfought by an Ireland side only playing for pride after two losses.

They found it hard to penetrate the Irish defensive line, with lone striker Asisat Oshoala a forlorn figure up front.

Oshoala had only one chance in the first 45 minutes and should have put her side in front after latching onto a terrible back pass from Louise Quinn and finding herself one on one with keeper Courtney Brosnan.

But her shot just missed to the right hand post and Ireland were off the hook.

Australia through

In the other game, Hayley Raso scored a brace and Mary Fowler struck after the break as Australia crushed Canada 4-0 and send the Olympic champions spinning out of the tournament.

In front of a febrile crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Raso struck in the ninth minute with a low, right-boot and doubled down in the 39th from a goalmouth scramble as unused captain Sam Kerr cheered by the touchline.

Fowler made sure of the win with a deft touch in the 58th minute that pinged in off the right post before Steph Catley slotted a penalty in stoppage time as a relieved nation celebrated the co-hosts’ advance.

Canada bowed out at the group stage for the first time since 2011 and with some regret after having needed only a draw to advance.


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