Odion Ighalo devastated by Bafana Bafana miss
Odion Ighalo tells KweséESPN he is “devastated and sad” after suffering an injury that has effectively ended his season.
A scan on Thursday morning showed that the Super Eagles striker suffered a torn hamstring, which will keep him out of action for four to five weeks, effectively ending his season with Chinese Super League outfit Changchun Yatai.
But Ighalo told KweséESPN he was more upset about missing next week’s grudge 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.
Bafana Bafana beat the Super Eagles 2-0 in the opening game of the qualifiers in Nigeria, their first competitive defeat in 25 years.
“I was devastated and sad throughout the night because I have planned for and was waiting for this game,” he said.
“We were all very upset that we lost that first game and everybody wants to play the game to make amends, but God knows best.”
Ighalo would have loved to travel to South Africa to cheer on his teammates, but will be unable to do so. “I can’t travel right now, unfortunately. But I believe in the boys and I know that they will do the job there.”
Ighalo is the second major injury blow for Gernot Rohr’s side, after the loss of goalkeeper Francis Uzoho. Henry Onyekuru has been promoted from the standby squad as replacement for Ighalo, while Enyimba goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai replaces Uzoho.
The Super Eagles only need a point from their next two games to reach next year’s finals in Cameroon, while Bafana Bafana need three.
However, Ighalo says the match is more than just about the points: “It is a very important game for us because we have missed two Nations Cups and we want this so bad. Also, we don’t want to lose to them again.”