Portsmouth-born Jill Ellis saw her USA team progress to the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup.
But her joy means the dream is over for Pompey Ladies striker Ini Umotong, whose Nigeria side were eliminated at the group stages following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of America last night.
The two nations squared up for their final group D game in the BC Place Stadium,Vancouver, with both teams needing a win to continue their involvement in the tournament.
But it was Ellis & Co who progressed to the first knockout round thanks to Abby Wambach’s solitary strike on 45minutes, while Umotong’s frustrations over a lack of game time continued as she was again an unused substitute for the Super Falcons.
With their win, the USA now head to Edmonton on Monday, when they will face a team that finishes third in another group - to be determined after the conclusion of the group stages today - for a place in the quarter-finals.
England take on Colombia in their final Group F game looking for the win that will guarantee their participation on the knockout stages.
Eliis, whose team are the second favourites to win the competition, said she was happy the USA finished top of their group, ahead of runners-up Australia.
‘Nigeria gave us a good fight, as expected,’ said Ellis.
‘They’re a dangerous team. I’m happy with the way we played both with and without the ball.
‘We can attack with confidence if we have a good backline.
‘It’s a shame we only scored one goal but we’re very happy to finish top of a difficult group.
‘Investments in women’s football are constantly increasing worldwide, so I think it’s right to talk of an evolution.
‘In terms of tactics, this is the best tournament I’ve ever seen.’