Nigeria Football Federation Technical Director, Austin Eguavoen, has revealed how he almost lost his eye playing against Mexico in an intercontinental competition for the King Fahd cup in 1995 in Saudi Arabia, Completesports.com reports.
Eguavoen told CompleteSports.com in Abuja that he usually has this nostalgic feeling playing Mexico, adding that he has never lost to them in the two games he played against the El tri as the Mexican national team is called.
The former Nigeria captain is handling the Home-based Super Eagles in the forthcoming July 3 (4am July 4 Nigerian time) friendly game against the South Americans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. He shared the memory of playing against Mexico as Nigeria right-back before the home Eagles jetted out to the United States.
“I have this nostalgic feeling of Mexico each time I come against the Central American country. This is so because on the two occasions I played against them, I never lost and because I almost got blinded in a game against them,” Eguavoen recalled.
“First time I played against Mexico was in 1995 at the King Fahd Intercontinental Cup competition and it ended 0-0. You see this mark, this scar on my face, it was caused by [Oriel] Ortega, the Mexican great smashed me with the stud of his boot. I thought I would never see again as blood gushed from my eye. Blood drenched my face and body, thank God, it turned out to be a deep cut.
“The second time I played against Mexico was with Berti Vogts as Super Eagles Coach in Mexico and we led them 2-0 until a late penalty awarded to them saw the game end 2-1 in our favour. I hope to be third time lucky in USA by getting a result,” Eguavoen, a 1994 AFCON winner stated.
Asked how he would psyche the players aainst a starstudded Mexican team led by Raul Jimenez, Eguavoen who has coached all cadres of the Nigerian national teams said the boys were motivated to play well and get a good result
“I have told them how I used to adore Diego Maradona in my youth and how I was on same pitch against him at the USA ’94. I did my job as a defender. I wasn’t afraid of him. We just have to get the boys to believe and they will be ready to go,” he concluded
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