By John Egbokhan, Abuja
Real Zaragoza of Spain’s Ikechukwu Uche, who scored two goals in the Super Eagles 4-0 trouncing of Ethiopia in a 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier weekend at the Abuja Natioonal Stadium, has said that it was mind-blowing for him to return to national team action with a bang.
Uche, who emerged Nigeria’s leading scorer during the qualifying race for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, despite missing the last two games played by the Eagles and the World Cup itself because of a damaged knee on September 22 when playing for Real Zaragoza against Sevilla, had a remarkable return to the Eagles fray in the match against Ethiopia.
Uche was introduced by Coach Samson Siasia in the second half. He replaced Peter Utaka, scorer of the first two goals generally adjudged not to have had a great game despite scoring, unlike his replacement, Uche, who played well and showed great determination as he stabbed home the third goal on 77 minutes after great work from fellow sub Osaze Odemwingie to ensure that the Ethiopians could not find their way back into the game.
Uche was not done for the night as a netted the fourth goal, a wonderfully hit stunner from outside the 36 yards, adjudged to be the goal of the game to cap a memorable return to the Eagles fold.
Speaking moments after the match, Uche, who was born on January 5, 1984 in Aba, said that he was over the moon to have marked his return in a such a fantastic manner, adding that credit must given to his team mates for always believing in themselves, even when things appeared tough on the night.
“I feel very very happy that I scored for my team and happier that my team won this important match. I have been out of action for a very long time because of injury and so you can understand how it feels to ensure that one’s team won such a match.
“When the game started, we scored in the first minute but as it progressed, it was not easy for us but we kept on trying and hoping and giving our best and at the end of the match, we got the win which was what we came for and I am glad to have played my part and I am back for good”, said the former Getafe striker, who scored 11 goals in 55 appearances for the Spanish outfit.
Before his injury spell, he was a super-regular with the Super Eagles and featured in 22 games for the senior national team netting a total of 5 goals in the process. He is one of the most talented strikers in the present Super Eagles fold with good dribbling skill, ball control and physically strong.
He can use both legs when going on the offensive, an added advantage considering the fact that some strikers are one-footed.