Osayi-Samuel: Eagle among ‘Chicken’

Newly capped Super Eagle, Bright Osayi-Samuel was the single bright spark in the Nigeria squad that lost 4-0 to World Cup-bound Portugal in an international friendly at a sold out Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon.

The Portuguese dominated play in the early minutes of the first half and were close to opening the scoring.

The European giants scored the first goal in the ninth minute through Bruno Fernandes and the midfielder added the second from a penalty spot in the 35th minute.

Goncalo Ramos who came in as a substitute for Andre Silva in the 66th minute made it three for the home side eight minutes before full-time. Joao Mario completed the rout with a simple tap in.

Osayi-Samuel was the one positive to take away from the game against the Selecao although he was unlucky to give away the penalty for Fernandes’ second goal of the night through a handball.

The 24-year-old was making his debut but he looked the most comfortable among those in a Nigerian jersey as he was solid on both halves of the pitch making goal-saving tackles to prevent a more embarrassing scoreline for the Eagles.

Osayi-Samuel had eight ball recoveries and won the most ground duels seven during the encounter. He also has 100 per cent successful dribbles and 29 successful passes from the 33 he made during the loss.

Though he conceded penalty, he won one which Emmanuel Dennis missed despite calls from his teammate Paul Onuachu and captain William Troost-Ekong and coach Jose Peseiro’s instructions not to take it in the first place.

He also had three tackles, committed two fouls and was fouled twice as well. He was also rated the top Nigerian player on the field by BBO Sports

The 24-year-old could not hide his excitement after his debut appearance for the Eagles and he has expressed readiness to help make the team stronger.

“I’m delighted to be here,” Osayi-Samuel told NFF TV.

“I’ve always said that I’ve always wanted to play for my country so I’m happy to have gotten the opportunity to show what I’m all about.

“I want to do my best, show what I’m capable of, bring my quality into the team and make the team stronger.”

With the kind of performance, the 24-year-old put up against Portugal his future with the three-time African champions is almost guaranteed.

The former Queens Park Rangers player took to social media to celebrate his debut.

“Honoured to represent my country,” Osayi-Samuel wrote on his Twitter handle after the game ended.

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