Ighalo has nothing more to prove, says Onyekuru

Nigeria’s forward Odion Ighalo (C) celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Burundi at Alexandria Stadium on June 22, 2019. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

Odion Ighalo came under severe criticism from Nigerian fans after the Russia 2018 World Cup in which the Super Eagles went out in the first round.

Many Nigerians blamed Ighalo for the early ouster, as he missed some clear chances that would have given Nigeria victory over Argentina in the last group game. That win would have meant a passage to the second round.

Since that mishap in Russia, many Nigerians have called for the coaches to scout for new strikers, saying that the China-based Ighalo has passed his sell on date.

Coach Gernot Rohr has tried many strikers, including Kelechi Iheanacho, whose form was not enough to even get him into the squad and Paul Onuachu, who started the game against Burundi on Saturday.

But Ighalo, who was Africa’s top scorer in the qualifying series with seven goals, came into the game in the second half and scored the winner for the Eagles. Now, one of his understudies, Henry Onyekuru has come out to say that Ighalo is still the master who has nothing else to prove.

Ighalo was doubtful for the opening game following the sickness that ravaged the entire team, but he showed no sign of fatigue in the minutes he stayed on the pitch.

Such was the confidence his teammates have in him that once he stepped onto the Alexandria pitch, they started counting the minutes before the opening goal. And he promptly delivered exactly four minutes after coming in.
 
“I was just waiting for a goal, everybody wants victory and it is very good to start with a victory.
 
“So when I saw Ighalo going in, I was 100 percent sure that something was going to happen and he didn’t disappoint,” Onyekuru said.

Ighalo is expected to start from the beginning tomorrow and everybody in the Eagles set up expect the goals to come in earlier than it did on Saturday.

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