Sanni Issa has taken the long and winding road in football but has finally won recognition thanks to his exploits for Auckland City at the Club World Cup. The Nigerian was the man who scored the winning penalty for the Oceania Champions League holders all the way back in the play-off for the quarter-finals after holding Moghreb Tetouan scoreless for 120 minutes.
That victory was more than many in the Auckland camp expected with players and officials forced to change flights and reschedule visits to family around Europe.
After being narrowly defeated by San Lorenzo in the semi-finals, following a groundbreaking 1-0 win over African kings ES Setif, Issa and Auckland were at it again.
With the game tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes of the third-place playoff against Cruz Azul, it went to penalty kicks. It was all down to the Nigerian again. Up he strode to place the winning kick high into the net behind Jose Corona.
“It was really amazing,” Issa told Goal. “I can’t express how much I feel. I won’t forget this moment because it’s unbelievable. When I got the chance to make us win the game, that made me really happy.
“I am good at penalty kicks so I was really happy to score.”