After suffering a 2-0 defeat to the United States in their opening game of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the North Korean coach didn’t blame the loss on a lack of discipline or the vast difference in experience between the two squads, but rather on Mother Nature.

In the postgame news conference, Kim Kwang Min said that at least four outfield players and the goalie were struck by lighting, according to The Guardian.

Kim claims the strike happened during a training match on June 8, and that the players affected weren’t given the OK until the last minute.

“The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament,” said Kim. “But until the very last minute they gave their best.

“They played with high spirits and a strong will, a strong will you cannot expect from humankind,” Kim said in the news conference.