Nigeria qualified to represent Africa at the 1998 FIFA World Cup hosted by Spain alongside fellow Africans- Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa. It was a tournament that saw the return of most of the squad members that participated at the 1994 World Cup. The 1998 FIFA World Cup witnessed some sensational goals and Nigeria Super Eagles were not left out in the goal feast. Below is a profile of Nigeria goal scorers at France 1998.
- Mutiu Adepoju
Mutiu Adepoju who was popularly referred to as “the Headmaster” scored a classical opening goal via a header in the 24th minutes of play in Nigeria first match against Spain. His equalizing goal canceled out Fernando Hierro 21st minutes strike. He was then plying his trade with Spanish outfit- Racing Santander
- Garba Lawal
Garba Lawal forced the Spanish Goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta into committing a blunder that resulted in an own goal. The goal came off an aimless shot from the left-wing which was Zubizarreta subsequently parried into his own net to level score at 2-2.
- Sunday Oliseh
Nigeria best goal of the 1998 FIFA World Cup was scored by Nigeria attacking midfielder- Sunday Oliseh in Nigeria opening game against Spain. He scored via a blistering 45 meters canon from outside the 18 yard box, to beat veteran Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. The goal was later replayed in major television channels during and after the World Cup. Sunday Oliseh blistering goal secured victory for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and it became the biggest upset of the tournament. The match ended 3-2 after regulation time.
- Victor Ikpeba
Nigeria striker- Victor Ikpeba scored the solitary goal which sealed victory for Nigeria against Greece in the 28th minutes of the first half. Ikpeba who was then playing for Monaco of France later became known as “the prince of Monaco” because of his goal scoring exploits at Monaco.
- Wilson Oruma
Wilson Oruma who played as an attacking midfielder in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scored a sensational 11th minutes goal that caused quite a scar in Nigeria third and final group match with Paraguay. His single goal could not stop Paraguay from inflicting a 3-1 defeat on Nigeria.
- Tijani Babangida
Diminutive right winger- Tijani Babangida was on the scorers chart when Nigeria got humiliated 4-1 by Denmark in the 1998 FIFA World Cup round of 16. It was a match that saw the Danish striker- Ebbe Sand creating history as the substitute to score the fastest goal in a FIFA World Cup. He scored in the 59th minutes of the second half immediately after coming into the field of play.
Source by Clement Sadjere