Flamingoes’ goal-keeper Gift Andy said she felt like killing herself after her side lost 3-5 to France in Thursday’s quarter-final match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Nigeria’s Flamingoes lost through penalty kicks following a goalless regulation time.
During the spot-kick, Gift Andy was unable to save any of the five shots from France’s players leading to the Flamingoes’ elimination from the World Cup.
The goal-keeper said on the team’s return from Azerbaijan on Friday night she almost saved one of the spot-kicks.
“During the penalty kicks, I thought that I had the ball in my hands, but it slipped into the net. When that happened, I felt like killing myself and have been crying ever since. I feel sad because I should have saved some of the shots but I couldn’t.’’
She said she was further saddened because the team missed the opportunity to win FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.
“It is most painful to me because I am 17 years old, which means I cannot play in the next U-17 World Cup.
“I have to graduate to U-20, So, I just feel very bad about missing the World Cup,’’ she said.
The goal-keeper says she feels bad for falling short of the expectations of Nigerians.
“Nigerians only want good results and, knowing this, I was determined to excel, but luck was not on our side,’’ she said.
It would be recalled that while the goal-keeper failed to save the spot-kicks, a Flamingoes’ striker missed her shot.
In her reaction, Sarah Nnodim, the striker who lost her penalty kick, says she is haunted by the guilt that she gave the victory to France.
“Taking the penalty kick on Thursday, I was confident that I had selected the right angle, but I do not know what happened and the ball went wide.
“Because of losing my penalty kick, I felt from that moment as if I had given our opponents the victory,’’ she explained.
The striker, who scored four goals in her team’s victory over Colombia and host Azerbaijan at the group stage of the Women’s World Cup, said she felt her team had already lost to France the moment she missed her spot-kick.
“The truth is that, it is very difficult for any goal-keeper to catch a penalty. So, the moment a player misses the spot-kick, it will be difficult for the team to recover.’’