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FLASHBACK: Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s baffling 2010 World Cup miss

FLASHBACK: Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s baffling 2010 World Cup miss
May 23
20:53 2018
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The commentator of the day described it as the “worst missed chance of this World Cup or any other for that matter”.

It was June 22, 2010, a day Nigerians won’t forget in a hurry. It was a day Yakubu Aiyegbeni missed a simple tap-in during a game between Nigeria and South Korea.

The miss came when his side was trailing the Koreans 2-1 in their final Group A match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, South Africa.

The ‘Yak’ would later score from the penalty spot but Super Eagles fans were, at the time, unable to move past the unbelievable miss.

It was painful, hard to fathom and difficult to describe.

Perhaps, if the former Okomu Oil striker had converted the vital goal, Nigeria could have defeated South Korea to qualify for the round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup — but it never happened.

Lars Lagerback would later describe Aiyegbeni’s miss as the worst he had ever seen as a coach.

If Yak has one regret about his life in football, it is the haunting thought of that moment of unexplainable madness.

Three years later, he broached the painful topic in an interview with the website of Guangzhou R&F, his former club.

“Oh my God, I will never forget that moment,” Aiyegbeni said.

“I was ready to put the ball in the net. I thought the ball had gone in, I don’t understand how it happened.

“I couldn’t believe it, I was standing there laughing, laughing at myself. If I scored the goal, it would have taken Nigeria to the Round of 16. Losing such chance is what one remembers for a lifetime.”

Relive the moment.

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