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Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze deservably won the Total Man of the Match in the 2-1 defeat of South Africa at the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo.

He said that he was delighted that Nigeria won the match and that being voted, as the best on the field was an added honour to him.

The FC Villarreal of Spain dashing winger, unlike in the last match when he came in from the bench to turn the game over but on Wednesday he was in the starting line up and scored the opening goal for the team.

“I’m delighted to have won we my team especially coming at my debut on a big stage for the national team. It doesn’t matter whether I scored or played well everything comes down to winning with the Super Eagles. 

“To me that is the most important and we are looking forward to the next match which I know will not be easy for a take,” he expressed.


Chukwueze has been fans favorite here in Egypt based on his exploits in the Spanish Laliga last season but was not considered to be in the starting lineup.

Coach Gernot Rohr in the match against Cameroon said that he refused to be tempted to use him in the match because he needed a backup for Ola Aina to counter Cameroon’s Christian Bassogog.

However, with result at 1-2 against Nigeria at interval, the coach introduced Chukwueze in the second half and resulted into two quick goals that gave Nigeria a massive 3-2 win to progress.

“It is not my duty to complain about the coach’s match plan whether I start the game or from the bench what is important is that Nigeria is the biggest winner and that is what our team stands for as we continue to take our matches one after the other .

“It was a good decision that I opted out of the FIFA U-20 finals few months ago to take a big shot at the AFCON, I am happy that I took the right decision and moving for ward from here is to ensure that I don’t lose focus,” he explained.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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