BY EDMOND ODOK- Though tough-playing defender, William Troost-Ekong accounted for the golden strike that proved the match-winner for Nigeria’s Super Eagles, it was the Villarreal FC of Spain prodigy, Samuel Chukwueze that got player of the match award after an attacking master class against Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
Expectedly, Chukwueze was all smiles and delighted after being named Man of the Match in Nigeria’s 2-1 quarter-final victory in Cairo.
Aside hitting the net for Super Eagles’ first goal in the 27th minute, Chukwueze, who became 2019 AFCON’s youngest goal scorer, put up a scintillating attacking display against the Coach Stuart Baxter’s men on Wednesday night.
The lone strike against the South Africans was the Villarreal man’s first senior international goal and he says it is a dream come true
“I feel so happy to be named as Man-of-the-match because it has not been easy for me and the team. I have been working so hard,” Chukwueze said in a post match media interview.
According to him; “We pushed very hard to win the game because it wasn’t easy, but we thank God we won.
“This is my first international outing with the Super Eagles as well as my first senior goal. It is a dream comes true for me. This makes me feel so happy and don’t know how to express it.”
Against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the last 16 encounter, the 20-year-old was a second half substitute for Moses Simon. However, the Spain-based striker is ready to play for the country whenever he is called upon.
But he admitted that; “It depends on what the coach wants and how he wants to play. Besides, all players are equal.
“It was my turn today to start and I had to do my job. It may be the turn of another person to start the next game.”
In their AFCON history, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have qualified in nine out of 10 quarter-final appearances in the continental soccer tournament.
Interestingly, the country has won the three encounters against their South African counterparts in the championship’s history. – With agency reports