Nigeria are proud despite exit from Women's World Cup

Nigeria's Rita Chikwelu
Rita Chikwelu says she is proud of her Nigerian side despite their elimination from the Women's World Cup

Nigeria's Rita Chikwelu insists she is proud of the Super Falcons despite their early exit from the Women's World Cup in Germany.

The Super Falcons lost 1-0 to both Germany and France as they failed to reach the quarter-finals.

"I'm proud of our girls because last time they (Germany) beat us 8-0 but football is all about heart and hard work," Chikwelu told BBC Sport.

The African champions face Canada in their final group game on Tuesday.

"We have a chance to get some points against Canada and it's important that we win a game before going back," the midfielder added.

"We are planning for the Olympics and we need train even harder."

Nigeria face Equatorial Guinea, who are also at the World Cup, over two legs for a place at the 2012 Olympic Games later this year.

The game will be a repeat of the 2010 African Women's Championship final in South Africa which Nigeria won 4-2.

Nigeria coach Eucharia Uche also thinks her side can leave with their heads high.

"I am convinced that with a little input we can rule the world," she said.

"We have come here and learned a lot. We are no longer in contention, but we are still playing for prestige and pride and we will go home and perfect our act for the next tournament.

"This time around, the tactical and technical improvements are there, the players are more determined and no longer see the European players as invincible.

"Don't forget this is the same team which came here last November and conceded eight goals.

"So I think we are getting close, the story has remained the same over the years, but I am convinced we are very close this time around."

Neither Nigeria nor Equatorial Guinea entered the qualifying campaign for the All Africa Games in September in Mozambique.