Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita has issued an apology following his red card in his side's 2-1 defeat to Greece on Thursday.
The Monaco player was dismissed after kicking out at Vasilis Torisidis at the half-hour mark of the game after taking the lead through Kalu Uche's 16th minute free-kick.
However following Kaita's dismissal, Greece gained the upper hand and made their extra man advantage count with Dimitris Salpingidis equalising on the stroke of half-time and Torosidis grabbing the winner.
Coach Lars Lagerback described Kaita's dismissal as a turning point in the game, and the player said the same himself.
"Of course we were both out on the pitch and we were both running for the ball, so the guy kicked the ball and he hit me with the ball, so I go at him, that is what he asked for," said Kaita.
"That was the situation. I cannot say anything more about it. I am very disappointed and everyone is disappointed.
"The reaction of the Greek player is what made me angry because he hurt me with the ball and my temper was high.
"Of course it wasn't the right thing to do, but it happened and I hope it will not happen again."
Hope not lost
The Super Eagles are now without a point at the bottom of the group, but still have a chance to qualify if they can beat South Korea and Argentina beat the Greeks in the final game of Group B.
Kaita will miss the encounter through suspension, but he was full of apologies and stated that he hoped his team could pull off a surprise by qualifying despite their precarious position.
"All I can say is that I'm sorry to all Nigerians, but all hope is not lost and we look forward to the next game," he added.
"It was the decision of the referee to send me off - I cannot say if it was a red card or not. I am on the pitch and the situation just happened. I can't do anything about it.
"If we win our last game we will go through."