Nigeria Super Eagles defender, Ola Aina has reacted to his penalty miss in the AFCON semi-final win over South Africa on Wednesday, February 7.
In an interview with Oluwashina Olekeji of Planet Sports Football Africa, Aina expressed his conviction that he would have converted the penalty had circumstances been different.
“Football is a roller coaster. I could put my money on it, I could put my house on it, I could put everything on it that I would have scored my penalty. Normally I back myself because I’m very good at them. Someone had to miss unfortunately and it was me,” Aina said, reflecting on the missed opportunity.
Despite the disappointment, Aina expressed gratitude to his teammates, particularly goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, and the rest of the team for their collective effort in securing victory despite his missed penalty.
Looking ahead to the AFCON 2023 final against Ivory Coast, Aina maintained his readiness to step up and take another penalty kick if needed.
“The boys and Nwabali saved me and saved all of us, and I’m just grateful for that because it could have been a tough one, but nevertheless that’s in the past now. You look forward and if it comes to it again, I’ll be taking another one, but that’s just me,” Aina affirmed, highlighting his determination to contribute to Nigeria’s success.
As Nigeria prepares for the AFCON 2023 final against Ivory Coast, Aina’s hunger for success and commitment to the team’s cause underscore his desire to leave a lasting legacy in Nigerian football history.
With the Super Eagles aiming to secure their fourth AFCON trophy, Aina remains poised to play a crucial role again, having featured in all the teams games in the tournament.