By Tony Ubani
Match-winner Osaze Odemwingie, who tucked away Emmanuel Emenike’s cross shortly before the half-hour mark, deserved all the accolades for working tirelessly upfront and even joining the defence.
But he has credited his colleagues for sticking together to secure all three vital points at the Arena Pantanal on Saturday.
‘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 his 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.
“It’s been 16 years for a victory for our fans and our country, so we are very excited,” said Odemwingie
“We had to work hard for this, they are a very quality team, with a good midfield, they got Edin Dzeko, it was difficult to get the three points but we are happy to bounce back after what our people thought was a poor performance in the first game.
“Victories affect teams in very positive ways, so we are looking upwards, hopefully this three points will get us through to second round and after that, anything can happen.
“We can be inspired, like we were in the African Cup of Nations, we’ll keep working hard and do our best.”