Humble beginning

Ahmed Musa made his name with Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Professional League. There he set a new highest goal scorer record with 18 goals in the 2009/2010 football season. He was usually deployed in the wing or as the main striker in both club and country. Blessed with a blistering pace, he like every other player had dreams of playing in the FIFA World Cup.

That dream was actualized in 2011, as he was selected to represent Nigeria at the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup held in Colombia. It was a tournament that saw the player who was then in the books of VVV Venlo of the Netherlands scoring 3 goals in Nigeria’s first three group games.

His meteoric rise in football was soon noticed by CSKA of Russia who signed him for an undisclosed fee in 2012. He became an instant hit with the Russian club side after banging in spectacular goals for the Russian Champions.

World Cup Journey begins

In 2014, Ahmed Musa was selected as part of Nigeria’s squad to the 2014 FIFA World Cup that was hosted by Brazil. The team was managed by former captain, the Late Stephen Keshi. Paired in Group F alongside mighty Argentina, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and Iran. In Nigeria’s first game, they were held to a scoreless draw by Iran. They however bounced back to beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 courtesy of a Peter Osaze Odemwingie goal.

Nigeria vs Argentina

Nigeria’s last group game was against the mighty Argentina. The Argentines were star-studded and led by enterprising Lionel Messi of Barcelona. The game took place at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegra and it was watched by a vociferous 43,285 football fans.

The game had hardly settled down when Argentine forward- Angel Di Maria burst forward before unleashing a left-footed shot at Vincent Enyeama in Nigeria’s goal. The ball bounced off the right frame of the goal but fell kindly to Lionel Messi who blasted the ball into the empty net. It was a rather shaky start for Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

Then comes the hour, then comes the man for the -big occasion. A minute after Nigeria conceded, Ahmed Musa was given a through pass by midfielder Michael Babatunde. He then sent in a curler to make it 1-1. Lionel Messi was undeterred as tormented Vincent Enyeama in Nigeria’s goal with an unstoppable free-kick to make it 2-1 advantage Argentina.

At the restart of the 2nd half, Musa continued from where he stopped in the first half. He surged forward to send the Argentine keeper the wrong way, and give Nigeria a well deserved equalizing goal. Football commentators were blown away by the intensity of the game and they gave the score as Ahmed Musa 2- Lionel Messi 2.

The highly entertaining encounter was eventually won by Argentina in the 50th minute of play. Marcos Rojo bounced on a loose ball floated into the Nigeria penalty area off a corner kick. It was a painful defeat, after the individual brilliance of Ahmed Musa. It takes sheer brilliance and determination to score twice against a team like Argentina. Indeed, he entered the World football record as the first Nigerian to score more than one goal in a FIFA World Cup match.