Home based Super Eagles experienced defender Kalu Orji Okogbue is happy to play through the pain barrier as Nigeria look forward to Sunday’s final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The Rangers defender was stretchered off after just fifteen minutes of Nigeria’s quarter final victory over Angola in Tangier.
He however passed a late fitness test to play for the full duration in the semi-final win over Sudan in Marrakech on Wednesday. Okogbue is delighted his risk paid off nicely for the team.
“It was easy for me to play with the pain because of the love I have for the team and the love we share together. just had to make the sacrifice,” Orji told www.aclsports.com
“My family, my teammates and everybody are all happy about the victory so that made my decision one worth taking,” he added.
After team captain and first choice goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa got injured in the opening minutes of the game against Sudan, the mantle of leadership fell to Kalu, one of just five members of the team who were at the 2016 CHAN in Rwanda.
With Ezenwa ruled out of the final, Okogbue will most definitely lead the team out against the Atlas Lions of Morocco and the centre back is hopeful on a win.
“The preparation has been so good. We’ve been calm, focusing on the game. The hope is to bring the trophy home and we’re gonna do that,” he submitted.
Fisayo Dairo, reporting from Casablanca.