Paul Onuachu came on as a substitute in Porto-Novo to lead Gernot Rohr’s team to victory on Saturday.
Onuachu has thanked Nigerians for pushing him to show his best for the Super Eagles after his late header secured all three points in their 1-0 win over Benin on Saturday.
The Genk forward replaced Kelechi Iheanacho at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in the 70th minute to lead the three-time African champions to victory in their penultimate 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
After Victor Osimhen’s shot was parried away by goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe, the lanky forward followed up with his header which broke the deadlock in Porto-Novo in the 93rd minute.
The goal was enough to end Benin’s eight-year unbeaten home run since their last home loss to Algeria in a World Cup qualifying game in June 2013.
The goal was also Onuachu’s second goal in a Super Eagles shirt after his debut goal on his outing against Egypt in a friendly match two years ago.
Reacting to his performance, Onuachu told the NFF TV:
“I’m just going to say, thanks to the nation for the push because they have really pushed me to show what I have to show in the national team. And now I am happy for the team and for the country. It is a lot of confidence for a striker to score, and I’m very happy.”
However, Nigeria had already qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday even before the win in Benin after Sierra Leone played a goalless draw with Lesotho.
The 26-year-old who is the highest goal scorer in the Belgian First Division A this season with 25 goals after 30 appearances – revealed the Super Eagles’ mission in Cameroon next year.
“We will just have to go there and take the gold,”
According to Goal.com, Onuachu will now focus his mind to Tuesday’s match at Teslim Balogun Stadium with the intentions of helping Gernot Rohr’s men end their qualifying campaign on a flawless note.