Canada: Nigerian Supporters Motivated Us –Oparanozie | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Canada: Nigerian Supporters Motivated Us –Oparanozie

Posted: Jun 10, 2015 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Peter Edema  –  Lagos


Super Falcons striker, Desire Oparanozie, has credited the team second half stunning fight back against Sweden in its opening FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada on Monday to the unrelenting singing by Nigerians on the stands.

Falcons trailed Sweden 2-0 at the break but levelled up, only for the team to concede another goal but levelled up again with three minutes left for play.

In an interview on after the match, she said that the unrelenting support of Nigerians on the stands really motivated the players.

Nigerian Supporters

Nigerian Supporters

She said their support never faltered despite that the Falcons trailed Sweden 2-0 at the break, crediting the fans for the second half stunning fight back.

“It really did help,” she explained. “It motivated us a whole lot. It was a good thing knowing that the crowd was behind us. They wanted to see us score; they wanted to see us do more. That really made us push harder and give our all.”

Oparanozie was able to put the unfortunate feeling of that first-half own goal behind her as she set up Ngozi Okobi for Nigeria’s first goal and then, only a few minutes later the Super Falcons levelled up through Asisat Oshoala. Sweden looked to have three points locked up after Linda Sembrant’s strike, but Nigeria once again battled back and in the 87th minute equalised for the second time in the night.

“This draw feels like a win,” Oparanozie told after the match.

“There’s no word to explain this feeling. It’s a great feeling. Having gone down two goals and having come back to level it is quite tremendous. We feel very happy.”

After Falcons made it 3-3 with mere minutes to spare, the team gathered in the corner closest to their supporters to celebrate, while Coach Edwin Okon quietly kneeled to the ground and prayed.

Clearly pleased with the result, Oparanozie directed her focus to Nigeria’s next challenge: a meeting with the Matildas on Friday. “After today, we are ready to take on any team,” Oparanozie said confidently when asked about how she would prepare for Australia. “We are not afraid to face anyone. We are ready.”