Super Falcons midfielder Deborah Abiodun had a hellish time at the 2023 Women's World Cup, after she was shown a red in their opening Group B clash against Canada at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Australia.
Referee Lina Lehtovaara from Finland had initially handed the hardworking midfielder a yellow card after her studs caught Ashley Lawrence's shin, but the yellow was upgraded to red after a VAR review in the 97th minute.
It was a dogged performance by Abiodun and her teammates as they held the Olympic champions Canada to a goalless stalemate.
But it meant she was suspended for her side's next three games at the tournament, and could only return from the quarter-final stage but the Falcons fell short after the defeat to the Lionesses.
However, the former Falconets star hasn't allowed the nightmarish moment to hunt her, as she returned to Pittsburgh Panthers, her side in the US, with a bang.
The teenage midfielder has been in great form, scoring three goals and an assist: a total of four goals contributions in four matches.
She grabbed her first goal for Pittsburgh, who are also managed by Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, off a header in their big win over Bucknell Bisons on August 27, just days after the long trip from Australia.
Abiodun opened the scoring in the 59th minute at the Ambrose Urbanic Field in Pitts' 5-0 triumph, connecting Keera Melenhorst's free kick with a fine header inside the box, for the first goal of her collegiate career.
“Scoring my first goal for Pittsburgh was amazing. In the previous game, I made an assist coming on from the bench, which I felt is a way to kind of refresh me from the whole experience we had in the World Cup and everything that happened to me,” Abiodun told PUNCH Sports Extra.
“So, it was quite a good game and good performance from the team in general. I was so happy because I scored with my head, I can't remember when last I scored a goal with my head. It was a great free kick from my teammate. The whole team, in particular, are so good and everyone always wants to do the best. I am so happy to be here.”
The floodgates now seem to be open after her first goal. She followed that up by scoring a brace in their next game, which they won 6-1 over Duquesne Dukes last Friday.
This remarkable performance marked a resurgence for Waldrum's team, who have now scored a total of 11 goals in their last two matches, while Abiodun has now scored three goals for her American Women's College team.
She did not get on the score-sheet but she was impressive in their most recent game against Bowling Green on Sunday, September 3, which Pitts also won 5-1.