8th July, 2011
Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, believes Nigeria would have got better results from Rashidi Yekini at USA â€˜94 FIFA World Cup and the team could have done better but for the deep-rooted division in the Nigerian team.
He told SuperSport.com that â€œthe only reason I am saying this is for the future and for the country, for people to learn and because I feel that honour has not been given to Yekini like it shouldâ€¦some players had scores to settle with Yekini and all that.â€
So many people have always wondered why Yekini would celebrate alone after scoring Nigeriaâ€™s first ever goal in the FIFA World Cup when he opened scoring against Bulgaria on that hot afternoon in Dallas. It was a sweeping move began by Oliseh who won the ball deep in Nigeriaâ€™s half. His quick change of pace and precision passing to Daniel Amokachi, who brilliantly guided the ball down the right flank to Finidi George .
The winger would explode down the flank and would pick out Yekini for the simple tap in, score and the stadium erupts into a sea of green and white and joyous chants of Nigeria.
The world would watch in amazement as Yekini rushed into the net and alone, all, all alone like that famous line from the rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. He would chant, scream all by himself, an image that personified the legendary goalscorer supreme and one of the defining moments of USA â€˜94. No one came to meet him.
â€œYekini had some beef with some players because I was in the background, I was watching everybody and I know those who were involved,â€ he said.
â€œSome of our players were madly, sickly, mentally jealous the moment Yekini was honoured. He was leaving for Panathinaikos, and there was some jealousy there. Yekini himself was not smart enough to calm things down.â€
Oliseh believes Yekini was special. â€œWhich other striker do we have in the history of Nigeria, who strikes 30-metre shots? If Yekini can count the number of goals at the highest level, it will be over a hundredâ€¦ of all the strikers we talk about in Nigeria, which other striker?â€ he asked.