Oparanozie opens up on missing WAFCON 2022, rates Nigeria’s display
She said Injuries to Oshoala biggest blow
Wuhan Jianghan striker Desire Oparanozie has given her personal account of why she missed out on the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations held in Morocco.
Nigeria went in search of their 10th title but ended the tournament without a medal after defeats in the semis against hosts Morocco, and third-place defeat against Zambia.
And Desire Oparanozie who could have helped the team, especially after the injury to Asisat Oshoala in the first game recounted her experience watching from home.
“I felt bad, as I was part of the team,” Oparaonize told Tobexmedia.
“The Coach did all he could to make me part of the team but because of border restrictions in China during the COVID-19 period, it wasn’t possible.
“The biggest blow was Oshoala getting injured in the first game, that really compounded everything.”
The Super Falcons without the best player in Africa, Asisat Oshoala, and in the absence of experience Desire Oparanozie got to the semis.
Rasheedat Ajibade scored the only goal as Nigeria beat Cameroon to book a world cup ticket and a place in the semis, but red cards to two of their players including Ajibade meant they had no chance against the hosts, Morocco.
But despite playing with two players short, and also against the home crowd, they were able to force the game into extra time and eventually lost via penalties.
“I felt terribly bad we had a not-too-decent outing but most importantly the girls gave their all, winning against Cameroon for a World Cup slot and playing against the host country, the Referees, and the overwhelming crowd with a Heartwarming performance despite the loss in the semi-final”.
Oparanozie made her return to Super Falcons this April playing a part in Nigeria’s friendlies against Haiti, and New Zealand.
She instantly showed what she can add to the team with her contribution in both games, in the first game, Oparanozie had her shot on target and created two goal-scoring chances in 25 minutes against Haiti.
In the second game against New Zealand, she was on the pitch for 40 minutes and got a goal.