Sports History

Nigeria’s First World Cup Goal: How Rashidi Yekini Made History In USA ’94

Rashidi Yekini's jubilation after scoring in USA '94 World Cup
Rashidi Yekini’s jubilation after scoring in USA ’94 World Cup

Cast your mind to when you received your first gift as a child, the euphoric feeling was always going to be second to none. Well, that might come close to what over 87 million Nigerians had running through their veins as Nigeria’s Green Eagles made history at the World Cup on the 21st of July, 1994 to give the then 34 year old nation her first World Cup goal.

Qualifying for the 15th edition of the World Cup was a dream come true, as the 11th ranked Nation at the time went as a power house in African football with a golden generation of players.

Their first huddle was Bulgaria, an European underdog who qualified by defeating France at their last qualification game, but it took just 20 minutes for Nigeria to grab her first goal.

Who scored Nigeria’s first World Cup goal?

The history maker was none other than Tunisia ’94 Nations cup goal scorer, Rashidi Yekini, as the Kaduna-born goal poacher after recording Five goals to his name earlier in the year at the nations cup, scored Nigeria’s first World Cup goal and made one of the most memorable celebrations with his net grabbing jubilation.

Prior to Yekini’s goal, Nigeria had earlier come close with Daniel Amokachi missing two chances and the Bulgarians also lost a chance to open scoring. These two teams made the opening 20 minutes a battle the fans relished.

Rashidi Yekini

The golden goal was orchestrated from a midfield brilliance by Amokachi who gave Finidi George just outside the 18 yard box, a pass best described as “hot knife through butter”, and Yekini just had to be at full speed to slot in home.

Nigeria went ahead to win the game by three goals to nil, with other goals from Daniel ‘the bull’ Amokachi and Emmanuel Amuneke on the 43rd and 55th minute respectively.

Although the African Champions bowed out of the tournament after a last minute denial of a quarter final slot by Italy in a painful clash most Nigerians would want to forget, but the Nigeria National team had endeared herself to the soccer loving nation.

Watch the video of Rashidi Yekini’s USA 94 goal below.

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Cite this article as: Joy Ojeabulu. (November 2, 2018). Nigeria’s First World Cup Goal: How Rashidi Yekini Made History In USA ’94. OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2018/11/02/nigerias-first-world-cup-goal-how-rashidi-yekini-made-history-in-usa-94/

One Comment

  1. Thank you OldNaija for bringing back this memory. I can clearly remember that day. The ceiling fan nearly had my head. We were all overwhelmed with happiness. Keep it up.

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