Flying Eagles midfielder Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru has described as a “great feeling”, the sensation he felt after scoring his first national team goal and has set his sight on bagging more goals at the U20 World Cup in Poland.
The Manchester City of England academy player was on the score sheet in Nigeria’s 4-0 evisceration of Qatar in their opening game in Group C on Friday.
“It was a great feeling scoring my first national goal,” he said.
The goal – Nigeria’s third – was borne out of Dele-Bashiru’s great presence of mind and quick thinking to exploit the gaps in the Qatari defence as he finished off an exquisite pass from Kingsley Michael following a botched clearance by Qatar’s goalkeeper.
Explaining his thought process leading up to the goal, the midfielder said: “I just made a run behind the defender because I saw he was ball watching and Kingsley (Michael) made a good pass and I waited for the ‘keeper to go down and slotted it past him with the outside of my foot.”
“So, it was a great feeling to score and hopefully I get more goals and provide more for the team.”
The Flying Eagles next play the USA who lost their opener 2-1 against Ukraine and Dele-Bashiru says they’ll approach the game like a final to ensure they qualify from the group.
“Looking forward to our next game against the United States, we just have to treat it like it’s a final again, make sure we execute the game plan and don’t underestimate the team and just work hard for each other like we did against Qatar.”
For their last match against Ukraine, the Manchester City of England prospect says neutralizing the physicality and aerial threat of the Ukrainians and imposing their technical superiority will be key to securing victory.
“Ukraine as well will be a different test. They’ll be more physical, bigger players and so we need to just be aware of the aerial threats and try and move the ball around them quickly because we have more technical players.”