BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
It is always an honour for a player to be the first scorer in a football stadium. Some Nigerian footballers achieved this feat. One of them, Josiah Dombraiye, even had the honour of being the first scorer in a foreign stadium, when Nigeria beat Cameroun 2-1 at the commissioning of the then, Ahmadu Ahidjo Stadium, (now Omnisport Stadium) Yaoundé on February 13, 1972. Dombraiye scored the two goals for Nigeria.
Similarly, foreigners have scored the first goals in Nigeria’s stadiums. One of such was QPR’s Tony Ingham in the 3-0 defeat of Northern Nigerian team at the commissioning of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on August 2, 1964. Also, the first goal in an international match at the Abuja National Stadium was scored by Ghana’s Patrick Agyemang in a 3-1 defeat by Nigeria on May 30, 2003.
But the very first goal of the arena was by Shooting Stars’ Sikiru Lawal in a 1-0 defeat of Sunshine Stars on April 8, 2003.
Other first scorers are: Ghana’s Aggrey Fynn in a 5-1 defeat of Mali on October 2, 1960 at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan; Enugu Rangers’ Sylvanus Nsofor in a 2-0 defeat of Zambia’s City FC at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on January 16, 1986.
El-Kanemi’s Mark Odu was the first scorer at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan when IICC Shooting Stars were defeated 1-0 on May 28, 1988. Peter Obi (not the former Anambra State Governor) of Mid West side scored first at the Ogbe Stadium when it was commissioned on December 7, 1968. It was in a 1-1 drawn game with Western State team.
Umo Eyo of Calabar Rovers scored first at the old Calabar Stadium (now UJ Esuene Stadium) when it was commissioned on April 2, 1977. Scoreline was 1-1 in a game with Bendel Insurance.
It turned to be a splendid home coming for Emem Eduok, an indigene of Akwa Ibom as his 34th minute header off a cross from Solomon Kwambe became the first goal at the Akwa Ibom stadium when it was commissioned on Novemeber 7, 2014.
Junior Ajayi then of Shooting Stars became the first scorer of Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium when he opened scoring in Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat of Congo in a 2016 Olympic Games qualifier on July19, 2015. He scored Nigeria’s two goals.