Legendary Nigerian goalkeeper, Amusa Adisa clocks 80

Legendary Nigerian goalkeeper, Amusa Adisa clocks 80
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Hero of the 1971 final Goalkeeper Amusa Adisa , holds the base of the Challenge Cup trophy during the victory parade in the streets of Ibadan

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper trainer, Amusa Adisa is 80 years old this Saturday. He was the goalkeeper trainer of the Super Eagles when Christian Chukwu was at the helms in the post 2002  World Cup period.

Adisa, a goalkeeper in the great WNDC team of the 1970s is famous for the penalty kick save he made in the 1971 Challenge Cup final which was the first to be played nationwide on strictly club bases.

Leading to the historic penalty kick save, the then WNDC which later changed to IICC and now 3SC were leading the rave of the moment, Enugu Rangers by 2-1.

As the WNDC held on tenaciously to their precarious lead, a penalty kick was awarded to Rangers and it was to be taken by Godwin Achebe, a household name in Nigerian football and a player who at 19 in 1959 had  the honour as a schoolboy to captain Nigeria in his debut.

He had never been known to miss a penalty kick. At the time, Sports Village Square recalled that there had been 14 penalty kicks in regulation time in Challenge Cup final matches.

Only four had been missed. Then came the fifth one from the legendary Achebe almost at the dot of regulation time in this hectic Challenge Cup final match played on 23 October 1971.

As he took the shot, Adisa dived full length and parried the ball to safety. It turned to be the most memorable penalty kick save in the annals of Nigeria’s national cup competition.

Adisa took over from Peter Fregene as Nigeria’s goalkeeper when he was put in goal in the 13 February 1971 friendly match with Sierra Leone.

Amusa Adisa, third from right in the Green Eagles’ line up of 1971

At the time, West German, Heinz Maroztke was making his debut as Nigerian coach. Adisa kept a clean sheet as Nigeria won the game 1-0. He went on to guide the goalpost seven more times for Nigeria.

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