OGENYI Onazi, a Nigerian midfielder who plays for Lazio and Super Eagles, has dedicated his Europa League goal against St. Etienne to Nigerians to mark the country’s 55th independence anniversary celebration.
Onazi scored his first goal in European club competition during Lazio’s 3-2 defeat of St Etienne in the Europa League at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Thursday, October 1.
The midfielder pounced on a rebound in the St Etienne box to scored the equalizing goal in the 22nd minute after Moustapha Sall had put the visitors ahead earlier in the sixth minute.
The 22-year-old whose imposing play helped Nigeria claim the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, 2013 trophy and a round of 16 appearance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup took to social media to express his love for his country.
Onazi on Twitter wrote how he was delighted to dedicate his goal to Nigeria and salute the country on its Independence Day anniversary.
“Three points in the bag with one goal for my beloved #NigeriaAt55. Thanks to our fans! #ForzaLazio.”
Onazi wrote: “I give thanks to God either good or bad times because he knows and has reasons for everything. When it matters most God always show he is present. My goal tonight is for Jesus and my salute is for my country.”
He told AfricanFootball.com “It was a sweet victory and my goal is for Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians to celebrate our 55 years of independence,”
Onazi’s last goal for Lazio was on May 31, in a 4-2 win at Napoli in a Serie A game and Lazio now top their Europa League group with 4 points from two games.
The 22-year-old missed the Super Eagles’ pair of international engagements last month due to the red card he received in the game against Chad in Kaduna. He has been recalled by Sunday Oliseh, coach of Super Eagles, for this month’s international friendly matches against Congo DR and Cameroon in Belgium.
Thursday’s goal against St Etienne would be a confidence boost for the 22-year-old as he returns to the Nigeria camp.
— Oct 12, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT