Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has apologised for his near misses at the 2018 World Cup following the last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Argentina in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
The Super Eagles were minutes away from securing a point against the Albiceleste which would have seen them take second place in Group D.
However, Marcos Rojo’s volley in the 86th minute put the two-time World Cup winners ahead again after Victor Moses’s penalty had cancelled out Lionel Messi’s opener.
The result means that Nigeria finish third in Group D and will play no further part in the competition, but despite the heartbreak, Ighalo apologised to Eagles supporters for breaking their hearts.
“It’s a sad day for me, the boys and the country because we went out in a bad manner and we deserved more in the game.
“We had a penalty in the game and another one which the referee did not give.
“I missed a couple of chances that would have finished the game but that’s football because sometimes you win and sometimes to lose.”
“I apologise to Nigeria. I apologise to my team mates,” Ighalo said.
“I take responsibility for this game because I had taken those chances I had that would have made it a different ball game now.
“But that is football and life has to continue.
“Nobody criticised me, it’s a team work. We are 23 players fighting for a single thing. Even if I am criticised, I’ll take it in good faith.
“Criticism is part of football because if you are not criticised you won’t do well.
“I am ready to take any criticism that will come upon me now and life has to go on. And we still have a better day ahead.
“I am very proud of the team today because we put up a good fight from the start to finish.”
Nigeria return to action in September with an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles.