Nigeria's Njoku cops three-game ban for Kerr elbow

Nigeria’s Ugo Njoku has been banned for three matches following her crude elbow on Matildas striker Sam Kerr at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Njoku left Kerr floored after elbowing her to the jaw in Friday’s 2-0 Australia win in Winnipeg.

FIFA announced the Disciplinary Committee’s decision to suspend Njoku for three matches and fine her for the hefty challenge, effectively ending her World Cup. The referees missed the incident during the match.

Kerr managed to avoid any serious injury after initial fears of a broken jaw and is expected to line up for the Matildas on Wednesday morning (AEST) against Sweden in the crucial final group game.

Australia will progress into the knockout stage with any result against Sweden, who drew against the United States on matchday two.

Four years ago, the Matildas bowed out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals at the hands of Sweden, going down 3-1 in Augsburg.

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams was part of that squad and said there was some semblance of revenge on the players’ minds.

“Four years ago, half the team was there, half wasn’t,” she explained.

“The people who were there, there’s maybe a bit of revenge, but at the end of the day it’s a new tournament, a new team and a new coach.”

Williams also refused to begin thinking too far ahead, when asked who she’d like to face in the Round of 16.

“It doesn’t really matter,” she said.

“No matter who the next round is going to be it’s going to be a tough game.

“We’re already in a really hard group and we might as well keep the theme going.”