Super Eagles forward, Okechukwu Gabriel grapped the ‘Man of the Match’ award in Wednesday’s 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) semi-final clash against stubborn Sudan at the Stade de Marrakesh.
Nigeria secured a slim 1-0 win over Sudan to progress to the final of the tournament, the Akwa United forward scored the winner and the only goal of the game.
“I feel excited we won this difficult game, it was a collective victory and not about any individual effort. I give kudos to the team for the big fight and the victory,” said Gabriel.
The Super Eagles made history and became the first Nigerian squad to reach the final of CHAN.
“The award means a lot to my career, every player dreams to play for his country and to be part of this historic squad is amazing. It was a difficult night, we won and this award tops the moment.
Meanwhile, the goalkeeping crisis rocking the Super Eagles has taken a new twist after home-based team captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa suffered what looked like a serious injury after Gabriel’s opener, Dele Ajiboye came on and he did brilliantly with several saves that kept Nigeria in the lead till the end of the game.
“I felt bad when our captain got injured and the entire players felt bad too. When Ajiboye came on, we didn’t panic. The squad is made up of quality players and for every position we had quality replacement, I’m happy we fought like a team and the unity to survive the hurdle was great,” Gabriel stated.
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