|World Player of the Week |
|Ethiopia ||1-2||Nigeria |
Nigeria had everything to lose against Ethiopia on Sunday. As the Africa Cup of Nations holder, the Super Eagles were strongly fancied to overcome a side seeking to qualify for its first ever World Cup finals.
But the weight of expectancy can often prove the downfall of even the finest of sides and Behalu Assafa put the home side in front after 56 minutes of the first leg of this playoff. However, as nerves began to jangle among the visiting support, Emmanuel Emenike stood up to be counted.
The Fenerbahce striker scored twice in the last 23 minutes - the first a 30-yard solo effort and the second a coolly-taken 90th minute penalty - to spare Nigeria's blushes and put the team in the driving seat ahead of the return leg.
Goal Nigeria's Lolade Adewuyi gave the 26-year-old a glowing endorsement: "Nigeria knew it was going to be difficult in Addis Ababa due to the city's altitude, which makes it difficult for visiting teams to play, coupled with the pace of the Walia Antelopes. They were highly troubled in the first half by the slick passing of the hosts, who then took the lead via a freak cross that was adjudged to have crossed Vincent Enyeama's goal line.
"Emmanuel Emenike rose to the challenge and scored a solo effort from almost 30 yards to get his team back in the game. As the match neared its conclusion, it was Emenike's run into the Ethiopians' box that was stopped by a tug from a defender and the same player promptly stepped up to coolly slot home and silence the frenzied Ethiopian crowd."
|Congratulations to Emmanuel Emenike, Goal's 231st World Player of the Week winner! |
R. van Persie -Netherlands
@PatrickKluivert: "Great win yesterday. Holland 8-1 Hungary and congrats to Robin van Persie."
Goal's Yanick Vos: "Broke Patrick Kluivert's all-time goalscoring record for the Netherlands with a hat trick."
Romelu Lukaku - Belgium
Goal's Alec Fenn: "Scored twice to send Belgium to World Cup 2014. Jose Mourinho must regret loaning him out."
Andros Townsend - England
@GaryLineker: "Well done Andros Townsend and well done Roy Hodgson for picking him."
Goal's Chris Davie: "No one stood up to the task against Montenegro more than Townsend, who inspired England to a 4-1 win."
Greg Bolger - St Patrick's
@wheelo_96: "Saints on their way to winning the league. What a goal."
Goal's Ronan Murphy: "Scored a fine strike to help fire his side to a 2-0 win and the Airtricity Premier Division title."