Abuja – National women under-17 team, the Flamingoes, on Friday apologised to Nigerians over their loss to Spain in the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
Flamingoes Media Officer, Jennifer Okoye, in an on-line statement from Costa Rica, quoted team head coach Bala Nikyu as also praising the standard of the competition.
The Flamingoes had lost 0-3 on Thursday night in the city of Liberia in Costa Rica to drop out of the competition.
“Although, the Flamingoes couldn’t get the semifinal ticket, the standard of the competition was high.
“Although, we are disappointed that our adventure has ended too early, we have really enjoyed taking part in the tournament which has been well organised.
“It goes without saying that I am not happy with the way we lost. There is nothing we can do about it now except to put it behind us,’’ the statement quoting Nikyu said.
It also quoted the team’s captain, Chinwedu Ihezuo, as saying she felt bad that the team could not live up to expectations.
“I feel very bad about the outcome of the match. I don’t know what happened to us.
“But I am just sure that Nigerians are disappointed in us. We are just appealing to them that this is not the end of the world,’’ the statement said.
The team’s assistant captain, Uchenna Kanu, according to the statement, also said it was not their delight to lose the encounter.
“’I am not happy that we lost, which means we are out of the competition.
“I believe football is a game of luck. It can favour anybody anyday. But we thank God that none of us sustained any injury.
“The way it happened, I do not know what happened to the referee and everything seems to be against us.
“I know it is not a thing of joy to lose, especially at the stage we did. But it is very appalling,’’ the statement quoted her to have said.
The statement said the Flamingoes on Friday departed Costa Rica for Madrid to connect a flight to Lagos and arrive in Abuja on Saturday.
The loss showed that Nigeria had in the last three editions of the four previous competitions lost at the quarter-finals stage.
Flamingoes lost to Korea Republic in 2010, France in 2012, both on penalties, and now to Spain in 2014.(NAN)