1st July, 2011
Despite her side exiting the FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup after suffering their second defeat, Nigeria coach, Eucharia Uche, insists her Super Falcons were not disgraced out of the tourney.
Having lost their opening game to France, Nigeria were beaten 1-0 last night by Germany, who will join France in the quarter-finals from Group A, but the hosts and defending champions spluttered to victory.
Midfielder, Simone Laudehr, scored the crucial second-half goal and Germany will now take on the French in both teamsâ€™ final group game in Moenchengladbach next Tuesday to decide who will finish top of the group.
Nigeria will head home after their final match against Canada in Dresden the same day as both teams have two defeats, but Uche says her side will leave with their heads high, adding that someday, the Nigerian ladies would rule the world on footballâ€™s global stage.
â€œI am convinced that with a little input we can rule the world,â€ said Uche. â€œWe have come here and learned a lot. We are no longer in contention, but we are still playing for prestige and pride and we will go home and perfect our act for the next tournament.
â€œThis time around, the tactical and technical improvements are there, the players are more determined and no longer see the European players as invincible.
â€œDonâ€™t forget, this is the same team which came here last November and conceded eight goals. So, I think we are getting close, the story has remained the same over the years, but I am convinced we are very close this time around.â€
Captain and goalkeeper of the Falcons, Precious Dede, expressed satisfaction with the performance of her teammates in yesterdayâ€™s encounter.
â€˜We put up a good performance against Germany. We were at our best and gave our opponents a good fight. I am happy that we were not disgraced as people expected,â€ she said.
In a bruising encounter, Nigeria made life hard for the Germans and Coach Silvia Neid was annoyed by Korean referee, Cha Sung-Miâ€™s leniency as the Africans went unpunished despite several rough tackles.
â€œIt was a very tough game, I have never experienced anything like this and I donâ€™t know why the referee didnâ€™t intervene more,â€ said Neid.
â€œWhenever we seemed to put together some play, we seem to have been stopped by a foul.
â€œI talked to the fourth official about it, but she wouldnâ€™t listen to me.â€