By Tunde Eludini
The 2012 London Olympics has come and gone but for Falconets striker, Desire Oparanozie, the agony of missing out lingers on.
Both the male and female football teams failed to make it to London; little wonder Oparanozie who is part of the Nigerian team at the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, says she hopes to pay back in another way; winning the trophy on offer in Japan.
Oparanozie, with two vital goals to her credit in Japan, said she aims to the country put things right after their failure to reach this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
“People around the country expect a lot of us, particularly after what happened with the Olympic Tournament,” the striker told FIFA.com.
“We didn’t even take part and the whole country was in mourning after that,” she continued.
“I’m one of the players who has most to say and when things start looking difficult, I tell the others that we can’t afford to falter, that the time has come to make sacrifices.
“Not just for ourselves, but for our families and all the people who believe in us and whom we make happy whenever we win. We know that we can do it and we know that we have to do it.
What they feel they “can and have to do” is bring the trophy home to Nigeria.
Oparanozie was part of the team that came so close to achieving that in 2010 and she believes that the near miss will help them enjoy more success in the future.
“I experienced the elation of making it through to the final in [Germany in] 2010, and I’m back now with the same objective in mind,” said the striker, whose transfer from Delta Queens to Turkish club Duvenciler Lisesi fell through in 2011, just when she was hoping to launch a new stage of her career in Europe.
“Getting through to the final showed me where I’m at and the minimum that I can achieve. I didn’t come here this year with the mindset of not getting as far this time around.” Oparanozie concluded.
Meanwhile, for Nigeria to make a consecutive final appearance at this stage, the Coach Edwin Okon side will have to cross the USA hurdle in the semi finals billed for Thursday.