Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oduamadi, Tahiti, and the Record Books

Nnamdi Oduamadi, on Monday, threatened to tie the highest number of goals in a single game for Nigeria. He ended up with three goals to his name and had a fourth controversially denied by the match officials after he was judged offside. Oduamadi has averaged 56 minutes per game for Nigeria and has now four goals in seven games for the Super Eagles. On Monday, he was close to eviscerating the record of most goals in a game for Nigeria but the denied goal and missing a couple of other chances kept him away from doing so.

Oduamadi's physique is wily to the point that one would think that defenders will take him for a rag doll. He inspires very little fear in defenders. But that is before he actually touches a ball. When he does you will notice a player with subtle skills and quick dribbling moves around his marker. However, none of that will leave a trace that he would be able to produce a hat trick of goals. He is neither stout nor as fast as Musa. Thus, a hat trick was not expected from him. Yes, one may argue -- it was only against the amateurs of Tahiti. But think for one minute. Did Nigeria not have vaunted goal scorers on the field on Monday? Yes, there were the likes of Ideye, the Ujah, and Musa. Each so hyped that one expected them to singlehandedly erase Tahiti. In the end none of them had as much as a goal registered by their name on Monday. INstead, it was down to Oduamadi taking his opportunities and coming close to equaling a record that had stood for decades.

Elkanah Onyeali (1959), Joseph Aghoghovia (1968), an Rashidi Yekini (1991) continue to hold the record of most goals in a single game with four each. However, Oduamadi has now added his name to a list of eight others who have scored a hat trick of goals for Nigeria. The last such scorer was Victor Ikpeba against Namibia on September 2 of 2000, over a decade ago.

NOTES: Meanwhile, let us note that Coach Stephen Keshi continues to be at the helm of Nigeria's longest unbeaten streak which has now reached 18 and counting. This outstrips the 13-game record that stretched from September 30 of 1990 to January 19 of 1992.

**To learn more about Nigerian soccer statistics checkout CHUKASTATS at Amazon.com books.