Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina reaction: Peter Odemwingie brings delight to Africa with Nigeria winner

1-0 win sees another African team excelling in Brazil

Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina was not delivered with the butterflies in the stomach that accompanied Ghana’s heart-stopping draw with Germany. Nevertheless it marked another significant step in Africa’s march towards the knockout stages.

Incredibly, 24 years after the Roger Milla goal celebration for Cameroon, 21 years after the Nigerian debut of the great Jay-Jay Okocha and a decade after the emergence of Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba as Champions League icons, we are still talking about African development in world football.

Read more: Bosnia find World Cup can be harsh
Nigeria 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina match report

This will continue until the day the national federations support leagues that are able to hold onto at least some of their star players, or until an African team wins the World Cup. For the time being the success of any nation – Ghana and Ivory Coast as well as Nigeria in this tournament – is embraced by a continent. Witness the response of Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi to Peter Odemwingie’s winning goal.

“Everybody is happy in West Africa; Ghana got their result [a 2-2 draw with Germany] and we won. It’s good for the continent. The fighting spirit we showed was good. I never thought that we wouldn’t make the round of 16. I have the players.”

 

A point against Argentina will be enough. A win will send Nigeria through as Group F winners. As Iran showed in stretching Argentina to the limit before losing only to an added-time goal by Lionel Messi, victory is by no means out of reach. Indeed it would be in keeping with the spirit of this World Cup party.

Match-winner Odemwingie was quick to credit his team’s work ethic as much as his dexterity in front of goal. “The goal means a lot to me,” he said. “But the win was down to 90 minutes of concentration and effort from my team-mates. The most important thing today was the character. We even enjoyed defending together. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this country. Playing for my fatherland is an honour and a pleasure. I didn’t expect to score a winner in such an important game, I’m very happy. But this was a point the team earned. Right now I’m so high on our team’s performance.”

Bosnia’s second defeat ended a nation’s dream at their first World Cup. Coach Safet Susic rued the many chances let slip. Like England, Bosnia are caught between the need of a positive result in the final rubber on Wednesday and accelerating fringe players ahead of their European qualifying campaign. Iran will not be easy whatever card Susic plays in Salvador.

“The match unfolded exactly the way I imagined. It was an open game, two teams wishing to win, lots of chances at either end,” he said. “We had a lot of chances and didn’t convert any. They had one and scored that goal. I can only congratulate them.

“We knew they would be tough but they surprised us with their speed, their movement. They played attacking football, they really wanted to win. Now they are in second place in the group with a great chance to progress.”

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup