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ASISAT OSHOALA: “Why I’m Heartbroken”

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ASISAT OSHOALA: "Why I’m Heartbroken"

The Super Falcons have failed in their attempt to return to the Olympics for the first time in 12 years after they were knocked out by Cote d’Ivoire, a situation that has left the team’s captain devastated.

Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala has expressed her disappointment on the inability of the Falcons to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following the Nigeria’s away goal defeat to Cote d’Ivoire.

The African champions were knocked out on the away goals rule by coach Clementine Toure’s team after a 1-1 draw in Lagos on Monday. The first leg played last week in Ivory Coast ended in a goalless draw.

BBC’s first Women’s Footballer of the Year winner Oshoala has never played at the Olympics and despite the Barcelona star producing a moment of brilliance to cancel Nani Kapho’s opener it was ultimately not enough as the Falcons were condemned to wait for another four years to get another chance at qualifying for the Games.

“It’s very disappointing and a real heartbreak for us,” said Oshoala.

“Obviously, it’s what I was looking forward to. I’ve never played at the Olympics and it’s important for us to participate in it as a team.”

“I actually thought this would be it – sadly it wasn’t meant to be,” Oshoala told BBC Sport.

“Four years is a very long time for us and I believe we’ve all learned a great lesson from this exit.

“Hopefully we can pick ourselves up on and off the field. We can only apologise to our fans and try to build on from here.”

Nigeria are the only African team to have played in all eight Women’s World Cups since 1991, but the Super Falcons have not been to the last three editions of the Olympic Games.