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The team scored PNG’s first-ever goal in a FIFA tour­na­ment, thanks to speedy for­ward Ni­col­lete Ageva, who beat two de­fend­ers and the ad­vanc­ing keeper to slot the ball into the net.

“I was re­ally ex­cited and proud of my­self, and also for prov­ing to my coun­try that we could achieve this,” Ageva told “It was our aim for this game just to score one goal for us and for all of PNG.”

There were more than 9000 peo­ple at the match, held at the Sir John Guise Sta­dium, and as Ageva’s team­mates swamped her, the crowd went into a frenzy.

PNG qual­i­fied for the tour­na­ment be­cause it was the host coun­try, but did not win any of its three group matches. It lost to Brazil 0–9, Swe­den 0– 6 and Korea DPR 1–7.

But Ageva, who hails from Bougainville, told Ra­dio NZ: “This tour­na­ment, it will bring the level of foot­ball in Pa­pua New Guinea up and mo­ti­vate other girls to get play­ing soc­cer too.”

The tour­na­ment was won by Korea DPR, which beat France 3-1 in the fi­nal. ■

The PNG team … goal scorer Ni­col­lete Ageva is in the back row, third from right.

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