England forward, Lauren James, says the Super Falcons will be very tough opponents for the Lionesses when both sides faceoff in the round of 16 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The two countries remain unbeaten so far at the women’s football showpiece in Australia and New Zealand.
Randy Waldrum’s side finished second in Group B with five points behind co-hosts Australia, while England are winners of Group D after winning all their three games.
The winners of the highly anticipated clash in Brisbane next Monday will book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Nigeria crashed out of the last edition of the Women’s World Cup in France after they lost 3-0 to Germany at the same stage of the competition four years ago and will hope to do better this time.
Meanwhile, England claimed a fourth-place finish after losing their third-place match against Sweden.
While the 11-time African champions will hope to improve on their best World Cup performance where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals in 1999, England are aiming to win the competition for the first time, having reached the quarter-finals three times and the semi-finals twice.
Speaking after the Lionesses’ emphatic 6-1 victory over China in their final group game, the Chelsea Women’s forward admitted that the Super Falcons would be difficult opponents for the European champions.
“Nigeria is going to be very tough, to be fair every team has been tough, even watching the other games,” James was quoted as saying by englandfootball.com.
“Teams are catching up with each other and I know that will be another very difficult game.”
The last time the two countries met in the tournament was in the group stage 28 years ago with the Lionesses edging the contest 3-2 to progress to the knockout stages at the expense of the Falcons.
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