After defeats to Argentina and Greece, Lars Lagerback’s men needed a win to qualify for the Round of 16, however, they could only secure a 2-2 at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The major talking point of the game was Ayegbeni’s unbelievable miss from three yards into an open goal, after rolling the effort wide with goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong completely beaten.
However, he redeemed himself after slotting in the Super Eagles’ leveller from the penalty spot after Kim Nam-Il’s clumsy tackle on Chinedu Obasi.
Ten years down the line, Ayegbeni revealed that Nigerians still send him messages to show their annoyance for that slip-up.
“I felt bad when I missed it but people still talk about it and are saying if I had scored, we should have gone to the next round,” the former Everton forward told Goal.
“Even if I scored, are we going to win the World Cup? That I am not sure of.
“I have sored so many goals for Nigeria and even when people thought we will never qualify for the World Cup, I stood up to be counted.
“I have always done my best to help the country but it’s weird that people still send me messages till date even on social media about that miss.
“They would write things like ‘I never forget o, I never forget the goal wey you miss o’ [I haven’t forgotten the goal you missed], ‘we no go forgive you o’ [we won’t forgive you], etc and I would be like wow.”
Even at that, ‘the Yak’ who, is Nigeria’s third-highest all-time goalscorer with 21 goals from 57 caps, insists he has no regrets whatsoever because he was able to fulfil his childhood ambitions.
“I never let that affect me because I think only about the good memories,” he continued.
“Ten years in the national team was great and wearing the green and white jersey was an honour for me. I still watch some of my goals with my kids.
“Also, playing in the national team was a joy for me because that was my childhood dream.
“As a player, you want to play for your country and I’m glad I did so graduating to the Super Eagles after playing for the U23 team.
“I was also opportune to play at the South Africa World Cup where I scored a goal. I have no regrets whatsoever despite my miss against South Korea.”