Caption: Nicollette Ageva of PNG celebrates her goal – Photo by FIFA via Getty Images
THE PNG Under 20 Women’s team created history in their final Pool A match against Korea DPR when the host country scored its only goal at the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup.
Critics were sent bashing for cover as the 9000 plus PNG supporters went into a frenzy at the National Football Stadium last Sunday night when 18-year-old Bougainville lass Nicolette Ageva sent the ball into the net to score PNG soccer first ever goal at a world cup.
The Asian heavyweights were left stunned wondering how Ageva, who plays for North Bougainville Soccer Association, sneaked past them and with her left foot stabbed the ball over goalkeeper Rim Yong Hwa to score in the 16th minute.
Ageva did not let her eyes off the ball guiding it as it went swiftly near the right hand goal post and landed comfortably inside the right corner of the net.
Celebrating with her biggest smile ever Ageva screamed as team mate Belinda Giada tackled her to the ground to celebrate what would be a historic goal for their country.
High on adrenalin the PNG team themselves were left stunned ,shocked and celebrating for a brief while all along feeling that a huge burden on their shoulders was suddenly shaken off.
Months of training under USA coach Lisa Cole paid off handsomely with a goal against Asian champions Korea DPR in front of their home crowd of supporters.
Emotions ran, tears flowed the whole country was celebrating it was just an unbelievable effort from Ageva to beat her opponents in a blink of an eye and send the ball floating into the net.
PNG skipper Yvonne Gabong who got her first tournament assist nicely set up the goal by kicking the ball just right this time for Ageva to land the goal and forcing her three opponents to rush to her to create the opportunity for her to place the ball.
“I am very proud of my effort with the game and with the girls, without these girls am nothing we all made PNG proud,” said a very proud Ageva in a post-match interview.
The Asian heavy weights and former world cup holders North Korea found the going tough against the home side’s never surrender attitude.
Korea DPR were first to break the ice in the 7th minute through Ri Un Sim before PNG came back through Ageva to square the ledger 1-all after 16 minutes of play.
PNG running high with emotion managed to hold on a little bit longer before Korea DPR broke loose to score three more goals to lead 4-1 at the break.
Kim So Hyang who got a hat trick on that night scored two goals in the first half in the 37th and in injury time (45th +4) and in the second half in the 53rd minute brining her goals scored so far in the world cup tournament to four in three matches.
North Korea’s other goal scorers were Ju Hyo Sim (45th+3)), Wi Jong Sim (65th) and Sung Hyang Sim (90th +1).