Women's World Cup, Nigeria 0 France 1: More penalty drama sees host top group

Wendie Renard dispatched a retaken penalty for her third goal of the Women's World Cup as France edged past Nigeria on Monday.

Wendie Renard

Wendie Renard of France scores her team's first goal past Chiamaka Nnadozie of Nigeria as a VAR review means she retakes a penalty during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group A match between Nigeria and France at Roazhon Park in Rennes, France.   -  Getty Images

Hosts France secured top spot in Group A at the Women's World Cup after more penalty controversy saw it earn a 1-0 win over 10-woman Nigeria.

A draw would have seen France lead the pool and Nigeria join it in the next round as a top-ranked third-placed side, and such an outcome appeared likely for much of a dull contest.

However, Ngozi Ebere was shown a second yellow card and conceded a late penalty following a VAR review - the second straight match in which France has benefited from the technology.

Nigeria vs France, as it happened

Wendie Renard missed the spot-kick at the first attempt but took full advantage of being ordered to retake it after Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie stepped off her line.

Renard, who netted twice against South Korea and then scored an own goal against Norway, proved the match-winner and Nigeria must now wait to see if three points are enough to advance to the next stage.

France predictably dictated play from the off, while Nigeria provided a threat on the break. However, set-pieces appeared the most likely route to goal for either side early on as Amandine Henry volleyed wide.

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A rare moment of individual brilliance from Delphine Cascarino almost teed up Valerie Gauvin, but the match remained deadlocked at the end of an uneventful first half.

Cascarino slammed wide and then squared for Gaetane Thiney to wastefully shoot off target early in the second period, with the forward going closer when she prodded another dangerous right-wing centre across the face of goal.

But the penalty - awarded by referee Melissa Borjas following a review of video footage - after Ebere tangled with Viviane Asseyi and was shown a red card finally led to the breakthrough.

Renard dragged a tame penalty against the foot of the left-hand upright, but Nnadozie's early movement provided a reprieve and the defender picked out the top-right corner to seal the win at the second attempt.

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