SINSHEIM (Germany) (AFP) - Both Nigeria and France go into Sundays (today) opening game of the womens World Cup knowing they can ill afford to lose with heavy favourites Germany looming in the distance. The two teams are expected to battle Canada for second place in Group A behind hosts Germany and thereby reach the quarter-finals, but Nigeria and France still have lofty ambitions going into their opener. Nigerias Super Falcons captured their sixth African championship in seven attempts last year and are one of eight nations to play at all five previous World Cups. But they have failed to make their mark on previous tournaments, twice losing all three games in the first round (1991 and 2003) and collecting just one point (1995 and 2007) on two occasions. The only time Nigeria have advanced to the knockout stage came in 1999, when they beat North Korea and Denmark in the first round before losing 4-3 to Brazil after extra time in the quarter-finals. But under coach Ngozi Eche, the Africans come to Germany with high expectations. This is the time to go out there and show our stuff. Dont rule us out of reaching the final of the World Cup, or better still, coming back home with the trophy, said Nigerias experienced goalkeeper Precious Dede. France, for their part, are making just their second World Cup appearance after they failed to advance from the group stage in 2003 with a loss to Norway, a victory over South Korea and a draw with Brazil. The French come into the tournament as an emerging side. Bruno Binis team blasted their way through qualifying, with 11 victories and a scoreless draw against Italy in 12 matches, outscoring their opponents with 53 goals compared to just two conceded. Their performances came on the heels of Bini steering Les Bleues beyond the group stage of the 2009 European Championship the first time France had accomplished that in international competition. Bini has the added luxury of calling upon 10 members of Olympique Lyon, this years Champions League winners. The entire Lyon back four of Sonia Bompastor, Laura Georges, Wendie Renard and Sabrina Viguier are in the squad, as well as attacking midfielders Elodie Thomis, Louisa Necib and Camille Abily. Believe me, were not going (to Germany) for the sightseeing, said France captain Sandrine Soubeyrand. We want to restore Frances reputation at this World Cup in some way or other. We want to show a different side to the French game, just as weve been doing lately.