Lagos - Super Falcons striker Desire Oparanozie has described their thrilling 3-3 draw against tournament favorites, Sweden in their first game of the FIFA Women's World Cup, as feeling like a win.
The African champions went two goals down against the Swedes, but came back to level 2-2, went down again, but levelled to end the game in an enthralling 3-3 draw, and Oparanozie says it feels like a win to them.
“This draw feels like a win,” Oparanozie told FIFA after the match.
The Guingamp of France striker couldn't have started the game on a worse note, as she scored an own goal to gift the Europeans an early lead.
The Swedes eventually went into the break with a 2-0 lead, before Nigeria restored parity and Oparanozie has hailed the Nigerian fans at the Winnipeg Stadium for being behind their strong comeback.
“It (the fans' support) really did help,” Oparanozie 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.”
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Oparanozie would come back to contribute her quota as she laid the pass that put Ngozi Okobi through for the midfielder to score Nigeria's first goal, and she describes the feeling.
“There’s no word to explain this feeling,” Oparanozie said smiling. “It’s a great feeling. Having gone down two goals and having come back to level it is quite tremendous. We feel very happy.”
With the game against Sweden now gone, Oparanozie has directed her focus to Nigeria’s next challenge: a meeting with the Matildas of Australia 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,” she was quoted by FIFA.