Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, has rued the team’s failure to make the 2022 World Cup, describing it as a “bitter pill to swallow” and has also apologised to the fans for the development.
The three-time African champions played a 1-1 draw with Ghana on Tuesday, a feat that earned the Black Stars a ticket to the competition based on the away goal rule.
Hours after the shocking defeat, Troost-Ekong said the Nigerian side were committed to securing the spot for Qatar but lamented the outcome of the two-legged tie.
“To all Nigerians, on behalf of the team, we want to apologise for not securing the World Cup ticket,” the Watford star said in a statement published on his Facebook page.
“Despite giving it everything possible, it wasn’t meant to be. First and foremost, as Nigerians, we share your emotions and we take our responsibility as a group,” the player, who scored Nigeria’s only goal, said.
“We sincerely thank the Nigerian fans for their overwhelming support, the NFF President who did everything possible to make the qualification happen, and of course the Minister.
“A bitter pill to swallow but believe me we will be back better and stronger!”
The outcome of the games means Nigeria will not be playing at the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. The last time the Super Eagles did not make it to the global showpiece was in 2006 when they coincidentally lost to Angola on the away goal rule.