Falconets coach Christopher Danjuma says that an early exit from the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France would have impeded the evolution of his team.
The Falconets needed an own goal in additional time to earn a 1-1 draw against Chin and sealed a quarter-final berth in the competition after Zhang Linyan scored four minutes from half time to give the Asians the lead.
“It was a hard, hard-fought game and we know it is not good for the evolution and development of football to just go out in the group stage, so that is why we kept going and kept going and kept going,” Danjuma,who is also the current head coach of Nasarawa Amazons told FIFA.com.
“We didn’t come to sit back and look for a draw, but the goal came just in the nick of time.”
Nigeria’s Falconets will face Spain on Thursday’s quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister for Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung said the victory was a reflection of their determination, team spirit and hard work which earned the team a deserved quarter final ticket.
“Let me once again congratulate you on behalf of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and the good people of Nigeria. It was a hard-fought qualification and you worked so hard to earn this ticket.
“I had no doubt in my mind that you were going to scale through,” Dalung stated in a media statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media.
He also pledged his unflinching support to the team and charged them to double their efforts in their next game.
“Hard work is the only sure way to success. To stand a chance of returning home with the trophy, you must train and work harder.”
“Having watched the team play, I’m convinced that you can go as far as the final.”