Switzerland's Aigbogun out to rekindle World Cup magic
Eseosa Aigbogun the first Swiss player to score at a Women's World Cup
The 25-year-old is counting on her team's togetherness in the play-offs
Swiss face Belgium semi-final, with the Netherlands or Denmark awaiting in the final
When Eseosa Aigbogun talks about her first FIFA Women's World Cup™, the impact the tournament had on her soon becomes apparent. She represented Switzerland at Canada 2015, making history in the process by becoming the first Swiss player to score at the tournament.
"My first World Cup was really unbelievable," the Zurich-born striker told FIFA.com. "You can't describe it. It's an experience you just have to have for yourself. That's why I'd like to go to a World Cup for a second time. As a team we need to give our all again so that we can experience it together. The fact I scored Switzerland's first goal at a World Cup has nothing to do with that really. Being able to share it all with your team-mates is magical. I want to experience that again with them."
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's team only narrowly missed out automatic qualification for France 2019. They only needed a point from the top-of-the-table clash with Scotland in the penultimate round of fixtures to book their place at the tournament, but suffered a 2-1 reverse. Victory against Poland in their final game would still have been enough to qualify but once again they came up short and were held to a goalless draw.
"You could see in our last two games that we weren't at our best," said Aigbogun, who lplays for Paris FC. "We would have qualified otherwise. Maybe we were a bit too cautious, who knows? It doesn't matter anymore. It's done and dusted."
Now all that matters are the preparations for the upcoming play-off semi-finals against Belgium on 5 and 9 October. Victory over the two legs would give them a spot in the final against either Denmark or the Netherlands, bringing a ticket to France 2019 almost within touching distance.
"We'll definitely give it our all and our coach will prepare us for the game in the best possible way," said Aigbogun. "I'm sure we'll analyse some situations from our last couple of matches in order to ensure we don't slip up again and that we can give our absolute best. We've got different types of players and everyone's got something different to give. If we're to be successful, the key will be to utilise everyone's strengths.
"I think we'll qualify because we all still feed off the last World Cup," she continued. "And when we talk about it with the players who weren't there, we can tell that they're fired up for it too. We're just really up for it. We want to experience it as a team again. We're desperate to get there and we'll show that out on the pitch."
On outgoing coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg "She's done a lot for Switzerland since she arrived. Under her guidance we qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever and also reached the European Championship for the first time. Hopefully we'll get to a second World Cup with her. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is very important for every single player, myself included. She's improved me a lot, helped me fulfil my potential and gave me a lot of confidence. She'll give it her all with us until her very last day."