France’s forward Valerie Gauvin (L) vies for the ball with Nigeria’s defender Ngozi Ebere during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group A football match between Nigeria and France.
France beat Nigeria’s Super Falcons 1-0 during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group A football match on Monday to reach the round of 16.
Wendie Renard confirmed top spot for France after downing Nigeria with a spot-kick of her own.
France will take on one of the four best third-placed finishers following their 1-0 win, but face the prospect of tackling defending champions the USA in the quarter-finals should the Americans as expected top Group F and win their subsequent last 16 tie.
The French needed a point to take first place in the group but Renard gave them all three from the spot at the second attempt, after Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was judged to have encroached for Renard’s first effort, which hit the post.
Germany meanwhile ensured they missed the Americans in the next round after they topped Group B with a perfect nine points following a comprehensive 4-0 win over South Africa earlier on Monday.
It could instead be Spain, who qualify for the next round in second place behind the Germans after a goalless draw with also-through China, to play the world’s best team.