Former Falconets striker, Akudo Iwuagwu says she feels honoured to have represented Nigeria at the first FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2002 (then a U-19 tournament) in Canada.
Iwuagwu was the youngest player in the squad and scored in the team’s 1-1 draw against Japan in the opening match of the tournament.
She revealed to FIFA.com on Wednesday that it was an honour to have played for the country at that level of the Women’s U-20 World Cup.
“I was very, very happy when I was given a chance to play in our first-ever match at a youth World Cup. And then when I scored our first goal, it was an unbelievable feeling. The whole team was celebrating. I tried to emulate Ronaldo’s goal celebrations and was concentrating on that.”
“I feel privileged and honoured to have scored the first African goal in the event. But much more than that, the goal also set me on my further path. It was like a ticket to my future.”
Having represented Nigeria in three U-20 Women’s World Cup, Iwuagwu disclosed that the team felt bitter to have lost the final of the Germany in the quarter final in the next edition in 2004.
“We were very focused to beat Germany, but then we lost on a penalty shoot-out. It is one of those things that can happen to anybody. It can happen to any team, any time, any day, anywhere,” said Iwuagwu, who played in all four matches the Nigerians contested.