WWC LIVE: Two crossbar saves for England as VAR drama continues

England had a penalty overturned by VAR in an extremely chaotic first half against Nigeria as the score remains locked 0-0 in the second half.

The Lionesses thought they’d have the chance to open the scoring from the spot when the referee awarded a penalty after Rachel Daly was bundled over in the box by Rasheedat Ajibade.

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The decision drew the ire of the Nigeria players who furiously protested Ajibade’s innoncence.

It appeared VAR agreed with the Nigerian players after it instructed the referee to head over to the pitchside monitor and review the decision.

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The penalty was subsequently overturned much to the delight of the Nigerian team and their fans.

England have struggled to find their groove against a resolute Nigeria side and it was the latter who perhaps came closest to scoring when Ashleigh Plumptre’s long-range rocket smakced against the crossbar.

A cross came in from the right hand side that England cleared, or so they thought.

The ball bobbled out to Plumptre who had bombed forward and she unleashed a thunderous left-footed rocket.

England goalkeeper Mary Earps looked beaten but the ball rattled the bar and bounced away.

Nigeria came agonisingly close to taking the lead against England after Ashleigh Plumptre’s strike smacked against the crossbar.

The Lionesses then had a golden chance to take the lead in the 23rd minute when a mistake from a Nigeria defender allowed Alessia Russo a clean route through to goal.

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But the England forward’s effort was thwarted by Chiamaka Nnadozie, who had flown off her line.

Nigeria hit the crossbar for a second time just minutes into the second half via a looping header from Uchenna Kanu, but the ball bounced over for a goal kick.

TEAM NEWS

England (3-5-2): Earps; Greenwood; Bright (c), Carter; Daly, James, Walsh, Stanway, Bronze; Hemp, Russo

Nigeria (4-2-3-1): Nnadozie (c); Plumptre, Demehin, Ohale, Alozie; Ayinde, Ucheibe; Onumonu, Payne, Ajibade; Kanu

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