Own goals are never something to be remembered by players in football and some of the memories will never want to be remembered by both the players and the fans.In this article,we take a look at the famous own goals Nigerian players have scored ‘while playing for Nigeria’. Some famous names are on the list from old times till this moment,especially most recently at the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil.Without further ado,here are the five famous own goals Nigerian players have scored while playing for Nigeria.
- Godwin Odiye vs Tunisia in 1977
The Godwin Odiye own goal against Tunisia in 1977 at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos, that meant that possibly Nigeria’s greatest ever team would not feature at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, would live forever in infamy.Nigeria were playing at home against Tunisia. The team had the best goalie in Africa – Emmanuel Okala, the best central defensive combo in Africa – Christian Chukwu and Godwin Odiye, the best right-winger in Africa – Segun Odegbami, the best left-winger in Africa – Adokiye Amiesimaka, the best central midfielder in Africa – Muda Lawal.He explain what happened in an interview in 2010 “First of all, if we had won that match at home, we were not sure if we could make the World Cup because Tunisia and Egypt still had a match to play. It would have helped though, if we had won the game. What happened was that during the game after being tied 0-0 in the first half, our chances of winning was getting harder and harder. So with about 15 minutes left we went into massive attack with Christian Chukwu overlapping and supporting our midfielders. Then it happened. I received a pass from Muda Lawal because he could not attack due to the pressure from the opponents. I got the pass from him and I immediately passed it on to Sam Ojebode at left-back. I remember him dribbling down the line and we had a lot of players in the box of Tunisia, so I looked on to my right side, Chukwu had gone as well. So Ojebode crossed the ball into the Tunisian box, only to be headed out to a Tunisian who controlled the ball and sent it back to Ojebode‘s position, and I was left alone to chase the player. As I delayed the player, I took a look on my right shoulder to see if our players were coming back to help, but there was none. So I made a decision that, if the Tunisian player crossed the ball, I will go for a corner kick header. The player did what I expected from him and I dived in the air to prevent the cross, but could not get there on time, and the ball brushed my head and into our goal. That was what happened that fateful day November 15, 1977.It was very painful. The painful part was that the commentator did not explain what had happened to the country; he just blamed all on me saying ”Nigeria score Nigeria.” Because I know the truth, I was never mad at any one; I just tried to explain it to whoever asked. Till this day I still explain it even when I go to Nigerian parties.
2.Azubike Egwueke vs Scotland , May 2014
Azubike Egwueke is a former Warri wolves captain who now plays in the finish league.He was part of Nigeria,s successful AFCON team in 2013 and played a vital role in Nigeria winning the tournament.He was also part of the squad that led Warri Wolves to qualify for continental football.His height,combined with his ability to read the game has been him a valuable member of the Super Eagles.He scored a bizzare own goal against scotland in May 2014 after diverting into his own net from an Alan Hutton,currently of Aston Villa’s cross from the right wing after extended pressure from the Scotland team who pressed for a winner after Nigeria had levelled up in the first half through Michael Uchebo.The game eventually ended 2-2.
3.Oduduwa Seguntope vs Algeria, Senegal 2015 Olympic Qualifier
Nigeria took the lead in the final against Algeria thanks to a 14th minute penalty through then Warri Wolves player, Oghenekaro Etebo.Just 16 minutes later, Algeria were level when Oduduwa Segun Tope scored an own-goal,diverting a cross into his own net.It was the first time Nigeria had conceded in the first half of the competition but it came to a bitter pill to swallow for Pierre Andre Schurmann’s team who failed to convert their chances in both halves.Algeria missed a key opportunity to draw level in the second half.USM Alger’s Zinedine Ferhat had a penalty saved by Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Emmanuel in the 68th minute.Nigeria held on to win 2-1 to lift the trophy and take their place in Rio 2016 as African champions.
4. Austin Ejide vs Scotland 2014
Nigerian goalkeeper Austin Ejide scored a freak own goal against Scotland hours after the friendly was in doubt over match-fixing fears.And after Charlie Mulgrew’s sensational opener, the Nigerian stopper came out to collect a cross and seemed able to grab the ball easily.However after a collision with Grant Hanley, Ejide lost control and appeared to throw the ball into his net.Fortunately referee Lee Probert bailed him out and awarded a free-kick to the Super Eagles who pulled back to 2-2 following a last minute leveller from substitute Uche Nwofor.
5. Joseph Yobo vs France, 2014 World Cup
With Nigeria badly missing the influence of Ogenyi Onazi, who was forced to leave the field on a stretcher after a poor challenge from Blaise Matudi that earned the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder a booking, France took control of the game. Griezmann’s pace and Benzema’s penetration up front were too much for Nigeria to handle as France exploited the space that began to open up when Stephen Keshi’s side started to run on empty.Nigeria held out for a while, due in no small part to the brilliance of Enyeama, who raced off his line to smother at Benzema’s feet, following a lovely exchange with Griezmann, before denying the Real Madrid striker again with a fingertip save. In between those two chances Yohan Cabaye rattled the crossbar after Mikel John Obi had hacked off the line.There was, in other words, a sense that the goal was coming; what nobody could have imagined was that Enyeama would serve it up on a plate. Coming for a corner that he had no chance of getting, the Lille goalkeeper flapped at the ball and Pogba, in space at the back post, had the simple task of heading it into the unguarded net. The expression on Enyeama’s face said it all. Yobo’s unfortunate own goal after good work from Griezmann on the right,his cross across the box was deflected into the net by Yobo to send France into the quarter finals.