AFCON 2023: The Day Victor Osimhen Nearly Gave Me A Heart Attack..By CKN

The day I received my " call up " to be part of the trip to watch AFCON 2023, I've always looked forward watching some matches of the competition 

Good enough the organizers of my trip Itel Mobile Nigeria have scheduled for us to watch the last game of the first round of the competition between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau 

The last time i entered a stadium to watch a match was in December 1984 when my school Igbobi College Lagos won its first Principal Cup at Onikan Stadium 

It was against St Gregory College Obalende

That nostalgic feelings still lingers till today

I hate watching live matches even those involving my team Manchester United. 

Few years ago while in UK a friend of my bought a ticket for us to watch Man U vs Liverpool at Old Trafford but i chickened out at the last minute because i can't stand the anxiety 

Back to Abidjan , but fortunately i was so eager to watch the Eagles match

To so many people, you must possess the heart of David to watch a Nigerian match because it is very very unpredictable 

Super Eagles are like Arsenal football club, they'll disappoint you when you're not expecting  it

The second reason for longing to watch the Super Eagles match apart from patriotism was because a Nigerian is the current African Footballer of the Year ( A feat Nigeria have not had in over 15 years)

I have seen how former African Footballers of the Year like Abedi Pele , Didier Drogba , Mohammed Sallah , Saido Maine and the rest lifted their country after winning the award

Osimhen to me won't be an exception 

On day of the match , we left our hotel in high spirit , after being made to drive round and round , we finally made it to the  Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium ( a beauty to see )

But it seems the Ivorian policemen were out to spoil our day 

They insisted we cannot take our Vuvuzella ( trumpets ) into the Stadium 

Despite all our pleadings they didn't budge, therein i prayed for Ivory Coast to lose their match same day we were playing.

They were defeated 4..0 eventually 😎

We made it into the Stadium just as the female referee blew the whistle signalling the commencement of the match

I was so sure that Nigeria will beat Guinea Bissau silly 

My reason was not far fetched, it was the weakest team in the group

With Chukwueze , Simon , Iwobi , Ihenacho and the star man Osimhen i was so confident that we will surely win by 5 goals to nothing 

But after 20 minutes , my enthusiasm started waning 

Nigeria could not string enough passes , the Guinea Bissau boys had better ball possession 

Osimhen couldn't dribble , to make matter worse , he started losing possession in vital areas , falling at will , his final touches were nothing to write home about 

The pressing from the Guinea Bissau team was so intensed that i started developing emergency fever , i couldn't breathe well , i dropped the Nigerian flag i was waving and sat down 

Did i make a mistake coming to the stadium after over 40 years 

Respite came when Nigeria eventually scored through an own goal by the opposing team 

In the second half , i thought things would get better but alas it got worse

I was sitting directly behind the goal post of the Guinea Bissau team

I saw in full glare how Victor Osimhen missed chances upon chances

Some of the misses were one on one pint point with the goalkeeper 

The Osimhen i saw yesterday for the first time was a clear shadow of what I've heard about him 

Yesterday was probably one of his worst days

I was just praying for the match to end so that i could leave the stadium before i had a heart attack, despite the fact that i still have a ticket to watch the next match between Egypt and Cape Verde

You can imagine the relief on my face when the referee blew the final whistle 

By then i have seen enough

I left for the hotel immediately 

It'll take me sometime again before i can watch any match involving Nigeria live at any stadium 

I'll stick to my TV as usual

I wish the Eagles the best of luck in their quest to win the cup

But the Eagles i watched yesterday still have a long way to go if they want to be African Champions Again 

CKN is a Journalist, UK Chartered Arbitrator and Law Graduate 

Reporting live from Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire

NB : Trip Sponsored By Itel Mobile Nigeria 


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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