Brighton & Hove Albion striker Ini Umotong spoke of her pride in scoring her first goal for Nigeria in the recent international break.
Umotong was part of the Super Falcons squad who travelled to China to compete in the Four Nations tournament along with Romania, South Korea and the host country.
Nigeria lost out to China in the semi-final but were victorious against Romania in the third place play-off, where Umotong completed the scoring in a 4-1 win.
She said, “I’m thrilled to get my first goal for Nigeria. To come off the bench and score is one of the stand out moments of my career.
“It was a through ball and I got in the middle of two defenders and outran them. I then got into a one-v-one situation with the goalkeeper and I took the ball around her and placed it into an empty net.”
The striker admitted that it was difficult to adjust her body clock to the time difference in the Far East, but was happy with the experience of playing in a new county.
“I knew a lot of the girls from previous camps, so it wasn’t a case of coming into a completely new team. The most challenging part was getting my body adjusted to the time difference, with very little time to do it.”
“It was a great experience overall, but a testing time for me as I was quite jetlagged. I also went into the camp on the back of three matches within a week here at Brighton.
“It was exciting though because I had never been to China. It is very different and it intrigued me a lot, especially the culture and the food.
“Women’s football in China is really big, so we got some very good crowds come out to watch our games. There was also lights and music in the stadium and it was everything I imagined it would be.”
Umotong also hoped that her first goal for her nation would give her a boost for the rest of the FA Women’s Super League season with Albion, as well as her 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup hopes for the summer, after being involved in Nigeria’s squad four years ago.
“It’s definitely lifted my confidence getting an international goal, and it will give me a boost to keep trying for more here at Brighton.
“It [2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup] is 100 percent where I want to be. I’m hoping to work hard and perform well enough with Brighton to stand out and be included with the tournaments they have coming up this year.
“Being involved in the last World Cup in Canada is the highlight of my career so far, to get there again is my target and I will do everything in my power to get there.”
Tickets for Albion’s upcoming SSE Women’s FA Cup match against Manchester United on Sunday 3rd February are available to purchase online at a price of £7 for adults and £3 for under-10s. Visit BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/tickets to buy yours.