Picture courtesy:Papua New Guinea Football Association
Papua New Guinea has ended its U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign after losing their third and final group match against Korea DPR on Sunday night by 7 goals to 1. The match was played at a packed National Football Stadium.
While it was widely anticipated that PNG would lose the match, it was the goal by forward, Nicollette Ageva, in the 17th minute, that brought the house down.
It is a goal that will be shown over and over again. Striker, Nicollette Ageva, receiving a through ball from captain Yvonne Gabong, and slicing between two Korean defenders, and with a left-footed first touch, Ageva would bring the house down.
The overwhelming emotion on her face, a tell-tale sign of how hard the team had worked for that one glorious moment in PNG’s footballing history.
This was a side that had been largely written off, almost from the moment American coach, Lisa Cole had arrived in the country in late November 2015. But the past 11 months of intense training paid off.
For the North Koreans, qualification into the quarterfinals was all but assured, after wins over Brazil and Sweden. Their Coach, Hwang Yongbong had stated that he would be playing a largely reserve side for Game Three.
Prior to the match, Lisa Cole had been asked whether a goal would be too much to ask in this match.
And the reaction on her face, as priceless as that of her striker, Ageva, who herself, could barely contain herself in the post-match interview.
Papua New Guinea will no longer be part of this world cup. Three consecutive losses have seen them at the bottom of the group, but for now, they are content with having achieved at least one of their goals: getting the ball behind the net.