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 FIFA.com. “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.