Super Falcon’s Desire Oparanozie apologizes to Nigerians on team’s loss to England

Super Falcons forward, Desire Oparanozie, has apologised for not being able to convert her penalty into a goal.

Following the team’s defeat to England via penalty shootout in the Round of 16 on Monday morning, Oparanozie shared a picture of herself in tears on her Instagram account and apologised to Nigerians.

She wrote, “Sad day! Very disappointing to have lost through penalties, and even more disappointing not to have converted mine. And for this I deeply apologise..”

The nine-time African champions executed their gameplan to perfection, frustrating England, causing them problems on the break and winning almost every duel.

They hit the crossbar in each half, Ashleigh Plumptre’s powerful drive ricocheting off the woodwork before Uchenna Kanu’s header looped over goalkeeper Mary Earps and bounced off the top of the bar.

Earps was kept busy throughout, needing to produce smart saves to deny Plumptre at her near post in the first half and later keeping out Uchenna Kanu, who had an excellent performance.

Sarina Wiegman’s England side thought they had a penalty in the first half when Rachel Daly went down claiming a push by Rasheedat Ajibade, but it was overturned by VAR.

Nigeria manager Randy Waldrum had already praised his side’s efforts in escaping a group containing Olympic champions Canada, co-hosts Australia and plucky debutants the Republic of Ireland.

He said victory over European champions England could have had “significant implications” for the development of women’s football in Nigeria, but they can exit the tournament with their heads held high.

They more than matched England and carried momentum going into extra time, but just could not provide the ruthlessness that was needed.

“[The players] have been fantastic all tournament,” said Waldrum. “We’ve played four matches, including against the Olympic gold medallists and the European champions and had clean sheets in those games.

England beat Nigeria 4-2 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup after their last-16 tie finished 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Credit: The Sports Bay

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