Nigeria advanced to the knockout stage of the 2019 Women's World Cup, and the moment the Super Falcons found out the news was pure joy.
The team advanced because Chile didn’t beat Thailand by more than two goals. Chile ended up winning 2–0, missing a penalty kick at the end of the game that would have bumped Nigeria out of the competition and sent the South Americans through.
Well, when the Nigerian squad found out, there were plenty of tears and endless screams. Soccer is indeed the beautiful game when it produces moments like this.
Nigeria's standing in the tournament was heavily influenced by VAR. In its group finale, a France penalty was ordered to be retaken after its goalkeeper was just slightly off the line for Wendie Renard's first try, which was missed. Had Nigeria earned a point in what was ultimately a 2-1 loss, it would have been safely through. Nigeria was also given new life in similar fashion, when Argentina got a second chance at a missed penalty against Scotland and converted to force a draw and complete a comeback from 3-0 down, removing the Scots from contention to be one of the top four third-place finishers.
After everything, it's the first time two teams from Confederation of African Football have qualified from the group stage, with Cameroon also moving on–securing its place in dramatic fashion as well, on a goal at the death vs. New Zealand on Thursday.
The road won't be easy: Nigeria will play Germany in the round of 16 on Saturday, while Cameroon will face England on Sunday. But for a day, there's plenty to celebrate.