|Attempts on target||0||7|
|Attempts off target||5||4|
Marie-Laure Delie's smart second-half finish earned France a 1-0 victory against Nigeria in their FIFA Women's World Cup opener, although Bruno Bini's side were pushed all the way by the African champions.
The Bleuettes were irresistible for much of the first period in Sinsheim, but did not get their reward until eleven minutes after the restart. Delie claimed the honour of the first goal of the tournament, converting from close range following Eugenie Le Sommer's right-sided cross. Nigeria did not lie down, and France were forced to work right to preserve their lead amid searing heat; the final whistle was a relief in every respect.
It had threatened to be a more one-sided affair in the early stages as Louisa Necib caused havoc on the left. Combative midfielder Elise Bussaglia brought the best out of goalkeeper Precious Dede from distance but gradually Nigeria, without a win in seven matches in these finals, gained a foothold. Three corners in quick succession signalled their intent and Desiree Oparanozie almost realised it. Bérangère Sapowicz came to France's rescue.
Necib had another long-distance effort at the other end before Delie calmed nerves before the hour. The advantage secured, Nigeria never really looked like prising it from their grasp but France were never allowed to rest. They continue their Group A campaign against Canada on Thursday; Nigeria meet Germany.
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