A second-half strike by Stefanie Sanders gave Germany a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their opening Group D match at the Fifa U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 in Saint-Malo on Monday.
A goalless first half produced little between two sides who previously contested the final of this competition in 2010 and 2014. Germany made a bright start at the Stade de Marville, but Nigeria looked more confident in the latter stages of the opening period.
The contest came to life after the break, with the decisive moment occurring on 69 minutes when the Europeans claimed the lead following a corner and resulting header that struck the crossbar. The loose ball fell to Sanders, who knocked home from close range to put the Germans in front.
Nigeria replied positively to falling behind and were unlucky not to level matters just three minutes later. A free-kick into the Germany box saw the ball fall to Peace Efih, whose swerving strike hit the post and bounced away to safety.