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Nigerians inspired me to step up my game — Onuachu

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Super Eagles and Genk of Belgium forward, Paul Onuachu has appreciated Nigerians for motivating him to show his best for the Super Eagles after his late winning goal in their 1-0 defeat of Benin on Saturday.

Onuachu replaced Kelechi Iheanacho at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in the 70th minute to steer the three-time African champions to victory in their penultimate 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

After Victor Osimhen’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe, the Genk forward followed up with his header which broke the deadlock in Porto-Novo in the 93rd minute.

The goal ended Benin’s eight-year unbeaten home streak since their last loss to Algeria in a World Cup qualifying game in June 2013.

It was also Onuachu’s second goal in a Super Eagles shirt after his winning goal on his debut outing against Egypt in a friendly match two years ago.

“I’m just going to say, thanks to the nation for the push because they have really pushed me to show what I have to show in the national team. And now I am happy for the team and for the country. It is a lot of confidence for a striker to score, and I’m very happy”, Onuachu said to NFFTV.

Nigeria qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday even before the victory in Benin after Sierra Leone settled for a goalless draw against Lesotho.

The 26-year-old – who is the top scorer in the Belgian First Division A this season with 25 goals after 30 appearances – revealed the Super Eagles’ mission in Cameroon next year.

“We will just have to go there and take the gold,” he said.

Onuachu will now shift his attention to Tuesday’s match at Teslim Balogun Stadium with the ambition of helping Gernot Rohr’s men end their qualifying campaign on a winning note.

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