Ashleigh Plumptre says the Super Falcons gave everything in their penalty loss to England at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The defender played every minute in Monday’s round of 16 defeat to England’s Lionesses. Coach Randy Waldrum’s girls lost 4-2 on penalties to the European champions after normal and extra time ended goalless.
Despite crashing out of the Australia and New Zealand edition of the competition, Plumptre has praised the team for their performance.
“When the penalties ended, I thought it was obviously very disappointing but I felt proud of every player because we gave all that we could,” she said on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight on Thursday.
A Little Patience
The player, who hit the woodwork during the clash, said she did not leave the game with “regrets because I felt like I gave all of myself and everything I could give”.
She, however, said on hindsight, the team could have been a “little bit more patient” in working with the ball especially after the English side were reduced to ten players.
“So, I think we didn’t necessarily have to rush to find a goal,” she said but reiterated that “at the end of the day, we did what we could do”.
The nine-time African country’s performances down under took many by storm considering the bonus row between the players and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
They finished second behind co-hosts Australia in the Group B standings, earning five points in the process. That was the first time Nigeria finished the first stage of the competition without a loss.
But that feat could not have been achieved without the players’ determination, the former Leicester City defender said.
“For us to have that self-belief in spite of all that,” she said, shows how determined the ladies were in Australia and New Zealand.
She wants the Nigerian team to show such a level of performance on a more consistence level going forward.