Nigeria's Onome Ebi makes African history with fifth Women's World Cup appearance

The veteran defender made African history when she featured in her fifth tournament this weekend

Nigeria international Onome Ebi became the first African player to appear at five editions of the World Cup when she featured in the 3-0 defeat to Norway on Saturday.

The 36-year-old, who plays for Henan Huishang, suffered a hand injury in the 2016 African Women's Cup of Nations final but recovered in time for the 2018 edition on the road to France.

Ebi's first World Cup was in 2003 but she has failed to progress out of the group stage in all previous outings with Nigeria.

In this regard, the reigning Nigeria Women's Footballer of the Year is hoping to leave an indelible impression on her record fifth outing.

"I am really excited about my fifth Women's World Cup and all I'm just focused on is giving my best and enjoying the game," Ebi told Goal. 

"I feel really honoured because I never expected It will the national team for this long let alone of being able to attend my fifth World Cup. 

"I will also praise myself for hard work and consistency because it's not easy. I'm just hoping that my team can go beyond the group stage because that will be an achievement for me and my team. 

"Getting out of the group stage is our major target coming to this competition and if we can achieve that, I will be very glad that it happened during my fifth appearance.

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"We've really worked hard and had the best preparation ever. I believe with the blend of young and experienced players, we will go past the group stage. 

"We are always talking, encourage and boost ourselves with no panicking and just go all out giving all we've got I believe we will come out in flying colours."

After Saturday's loss to Norway, Ebi is aiming to help her side bounce back against South Korea in Grenoble on Wednesday.