Europe’s biggest club competition has witnessed some great strikes from many fantastic strikers and Nigerian stars have not been left out. The likes of Osaze Odemwingie (for Lille), Yakubu Aiyegbeni (for Maccabi Haifa) and Kanu Nwankwo (for Ajax and Arsenal) among others have registered some fine goals in the competition.
It was not an easy task but SoccerNet Nigeria’s Imhons Sunny has come up with a shortlist of the 5 most unforgettable goals ever scored by Nigerians in the UEFA Champions League
1. Daniel Amokachi and the first ever UEFACL goal
On a fine, starry November night in Brussels, Belgium in 1992, a young Nigerian forward wrote his name in the history books by scoring the first ever goal in the new-format Champions League.
Amokachi, wearing the blue & black colours of Club Brugge, beat the CSKA Moscow offside trap to receive a fine through pass from midfield and race at goal. Calm and composed, he dribbled past the goalkeeper to smash home for a 1-0 win.
2. Obafemi Martins against Arsenal
Inter Milan had no chance against the English champions in London on the night. Or so did many analysts thought. They were missing the services of their two main strikers, Christian Vieri and Hernan Crespo and the coach had been forced to pair Julio Cruz with a relatively unknown teenager from Lagos Nigeria.
Well, Obafemi went on to introduce himself on the biggest European stage with a fine individual goal on the way to an impressive 3-0 win for the Italians.
3. Yakubu Aiyegbeni vs Manchester United
Not many strikers would ever get the chance to play much less score against some of Europe’s biggest clubs. But Yakubu was handed that opportunity against no other but Manchester United and he grabbed it with both hands and his teeth.
In a humbling night for the English giants, Aiyegbeni was simply unplayable has he banged a penalty enroute a 3-0 victory for his Israeli side, Maccabi Haifa.
That even came after he had registered a fantastic hattrick against Olympiakos, his second goal making the Turkish side’s defense look stupid.
4. Osaze Odemwingie vs AC Milan
In one of the most stunning David-versus-Goliath night in Europe, the Nigerian forward inspired little Lille to an unlikely 2-0 win at the San Siro.
Peter Osaze scored the opener with just 7 minutes on the clock and was an all-night terror in the flesh of a Milan side that boasted Seedorf and Inzaghi.
5. Ahmed Musa vs Sporting Lisbon
Needing two clear goals to knock out the Portuguese champions after trailing the first leg 2-1, CSKA Moscow produced 45 minutes of fascinating football to better Sporting Lisbon 3-1 in Moscow.
Partnering with Doumbia, the Nigerian was a bother all game, forcing errors from the opposition and providing an assist for the second goal. But his most vital contribution arrived in the 85th minute. With the game tied 3-3 on aggregate, Musa made an intelligent run into Lisbon’s box, collected a well-weighted pass and smashed the ball past the goalkeeper for the winner.