Fittingly, it was the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer that scored the only goal in the United States' 1-0 win over Nigeria in the third match of Group D pool play at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Tuesday before an attendance of 52,193 .

Abby Wambach volleyed Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick cross into the back of the Nigerian net in the 45th minute for the winning score.

Rich Lam, Getty Images
Rich Lam, Getty Images

The goal was Wambach’s 14th goal in Women’s World Cup play. She is now tied for second all-time in tournament scoring with Brigit Prinz -- one goal behind Brazil’s Marta.

''Getting that goal right before the half was big for us,'' Wambach said. ''Not taking too many injuries is also positive, and going out first in our group was absolutely what we set out to do.''

Head Coach Jill Ellis’ decision to insert Wambach, and Alex Morgan in the midfield and Tobin Heath at the outside midfield into the starting lineup seemed to inspire the US side. While the lineup changes did not result in a scoring frenzy the trio’s presence and impact were immediately noticeable.

Morgan used her speed to eat up prime offensive lanes and to put herself in good scoring position even though she came up empty.

The desire to capitalize on Morgan and Wambach’s start was apparent. The U.S. like to run a set piece off the opening kick and the payoff was nearly immediate. Wambach collected a header and knocked the ball forward to Morgan who nearly got her foot on the ball as Nigeria goalkeeper Precious Dede bobbled the save.

The American’s had another early scoring opportunity when Wambach headed a pass into Julie Johnston, who apparently scored but was flagged for being offside.

''Overall it was a good result,'' midfielder Carli Lloyd said. ''We only put it away once, but I think we're getting a little better each game, and that's what matters.''

The U.S. was able to control the pace of the game frustrating the Super Falcons. The Nigerian’s drew five yellow cards in the match including two for Sarah Nnodim  drawing an ejection. Having only 10 layers on the field it was even more difficult for the Nigerian’s to find scoring opportunities.

Nigeria’s best scoring chance came in the first half when star striker Asisat Oshoala had a breakaway chance. Oshoala was closing in to take a shot at getting the ball past American goalkeeper Hope Solo when Johnson made a great slide tackle knocking the ball away from Oshoala.

The win secures the US’s passage to the round of 16 where they will face the third place finisher from either Group E or Group F Monday at 7 pm from Edmonton, Alberta.

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