Nigeria’s Super Falcons crashed out of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday, losing 2-4 to England in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of a goalless draw.
Football fans in Lagos expressed mixed reactions in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with some saying that the team deserved praise in spite of losing to England on penalties.
Rotimi Olajuwon said the team did well in spite of the loss because many had thought that Nigeria would lose to England by a wide margin.
“We were only unlucky during the penalty shootout.
“It was a great game; they are indeed gallant heroines; it could have gone our way after hitting the crossbar on two occasions during the game.
“It is like that in football; sometimes you win, other times you lose. Super Falcons indeed have proved that they are a good side to reckon with in the world of football,” Olajuwon said.
Another football buff, Segun Adeoti, said the English team kept a strong mentality in spite of going one player down and pushed Nigeria to the penalty shootout where they were quite good.
“Super Falcons of Nigeria should have calmed their nerves and pushed the ball beyond England; the mentality to win was not just there.
“Luck was against them in the penalty shootout and sometimes these things happen in football. In all respects they gave their best and had a great match,’’ Adeoti said.
A critic, Anthony Emenike said the team could not wrap up the game in spite of having good control of the match.
“We could have won; it’s so sad they lost to England who were arguably the best team in the competition. A lot of lessons had been learnt and we can only move forward,’’ Emenike said.
Hamed Hafisu a grassroots football coach at Ejigbo, Lagos State, said the Super Falcons gave their best playing against the European champions.
He said the team was unable to score in spite of having good control of the ball and it cost Nigeria dearly as it showed also during the penalty shootout.
“I feel sorry for the players because we can see their tactical approach to the game, but unfortunately could not hit the net which is very important at the knockout stage.
“We can only wish them better luck next time,’’ Hafisu said.
Nigeria started off in the competition with a scoreless draw against Olympic champions, Canada.
They defeated Australia, 3-2 and played 0-0 against the Republic of Ireland in the group stage in the tourney being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. (NAN)