Dickson Etuhu has insisted he will not blame Yakubu for Nigeria's exit from this summer's World Cup.
The midfielder looked on in despair as his Super Eagles team-mate squandered a sitter from five yards in the 2-2 draw with South Korea, a result which put paid to their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the South Africa finals.
Nigeria needed one more goal to go through but were left to rue a glut of missed chances and Etuhu admitted he could not believe his frontman blazed wide.
"You would have put your house on him to score that," Etuhu, who has suffered double heartbreak this season with Nigeria's exit compounding Fulham's defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final, said in the London Evening Standard.
"But everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. We had our chances but weren't good enough to finish them and it's over now."
Etuhu offered his support to the Everton forward, a target for West Ham, adding: "He is a top striker, a great player and I love playing with him. It could have happened to anyone and it's done now.
"We had a lot of chances in this World Cup to get the points we needed but it was a case of 'almost, almost' and now we are out."
And Etuhu added it was more painful than losing with his club team in last month's Euro showpiece.
"This is definitely worse," said the combative midfielder. "This is my country, and my country is everything to me, but the World Cup is finished for us now. It hurts.
"Everybody is down and there were a lot of people crying in the dressing room. We are a great nation with 150 million people behind us but we are out of the World Cup."