iwE5qJUcSIhvu1PMt-smehTga6sYkSaO5-4" />

I was pressured playing last penalty — Iheanacho


Kelechi Iheanacho has had his say on taking the decisive penalty during Nigeria’s semifinal victory over South Africa at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Having lost five of their last six semifinals before the meeting with South Africa, the Super Eagles broke the curse thanks to the Leicester City forward. 
The 2013 U17 Fifa World Cup winner was brought on by José Peseiro in the 102nd minute as a replacement for the tired Ademola Lookman, which marked his first appearance in the tournament.
With the scores tied at 1-1, the former Manchester City forward was presented with a huge opportunity to score the winner from a free kick but fired his effort straight at the South Africa goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams, only for him to postpone his heroics to the penalty shootouts.
With the scores at 3-2 in favor of the Super Eagles,  the 27-year-old was tasked with the responsibility of taking the decisive kick which he dispatched to the bottom right corner.
Post match, Iheanacho spoke about the pressure of playing the last penalty which sent Nigeria through to the final.
” I felt at that moment, I was carrying the hope of the nation on my shoulder. The penalty was either make or break but I thank God who made it possible for us to go through to the final,” Iheanacho told reporters in the mixed zone.
Iheanacho came into the tournament, struggling with fitness having last played for Leicester City since the last boxing day and that has largely accounted for his lack of minutes.
The 2023 Fifa U17 World Cup Golden Ball winner is playing at AFON for the second time with his first being in the 2021 editon and will be hoping to make history with the rest of his teammates by winning the title on Sunday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *