Nigeria vs India II

It was the final of an unknown cup. Nigeria, the underdogs were to face India who had magical powers. India were so good that they told the Green Eagles that if they could score just one goal, they would be the winners.

The match started and India dominated from the start. Nigeria struggled to get the ball. The Indians were barefoot and their goalkeeper only tied a towel around his waist as his jerseys. The goalkeeper sat on a stool for a lack of involvement in the action. That was what we thought till the first shot was played to the top right corner of his goal; he stretched his hand from the middle and caught the ball.

The Nigerian goalkeeper on the other hand was conceding goals after goals. When the ball was shot at his goal, it would turn into a lion and the keeper would run away. You really can’t blame him. Even Vincent Enyeama in his prime won’t catch a lion.

For the Nigerian attackers, whenever they wanted to shoot the ball, it will turn into a coconut or stone or fire. India scored one, two, three till it got to ninety-nine. That’s an average of one goal in every fifty seconds. The implication is that before Nigeria could even pass the ball after conceding a goal, another goal might be scored.

There was no hope to win the cup except by scoring just one goal, but even that lone goal was impossible. But the moment came. Nigeria was given a penalty kick. It’s not clear what really happened that Nigerian players were able to make it to the Indian penalty box. You can call it the Nigerian Spirit.

No player wanted to take the penalty because it was a waste of time. The goal keeper was still seated on his stool with his towel. No way! As the referee was getting things in place for the kick, Samuel Okwaraji loosened his right boot. He stepped up to take the kick. The Indian goalkeeper was confident of another magical save.

Okwaraji hit the ball with his outside foot, the boot went off. The ball headed to the left corner while the boot headed to the right corner. The Indian goalkeeper mistook the boot for the ball, so in his peculiar fashion, stretched his hand and caught the boot while the ball made it to the net.

Automatically, Nigeria won the match and won the unknown cup. The Indians were angry. Okwaraji died shortly after scoring the golden goal.

It may have been a story that was just pure fiction but Okwaraji died on the football field while playing for the country at the age of 25. His legendary status is never questioned, but the greatest story of his heroics is probably the greatest tale composed in the last 50 years.

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