The two-time Chief Coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the first Nigerian coach to take the senior national soccer team to the FIFA World Cup finals at Korea/Japan 2002, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has declared that, the excellent goal scoring abilities of Nigerian football legend, Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun, are just unforgettable, as the family marks his 51st memorial anniversary today, Sunday, July 30, 2023, in Lagos.
Onigbinde disclosed that, the best goals he had seen scored by any football player dead or alive were the ones scored by the late Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun.
“One of these goals was scored by ‘Thunder’ Balogun at the Olubadan Stadium in 1968 in the match between the Nigerian national team, then known as the UK Tourists and England.
“In that match, the English players, haven garnered some vital information about the deadly strikes of Balogun, close marked him each time he gained possession, to prevent him from wreaking havoc on their team.
“After not allowing him play freely for most parts of the game, ‘Thunder’ changed his attacking play which was difficult for the English players to understand. He eventually gave them the biggest shock of their lives, as they were beaten to their strategies.
“Thunder Balogun received a pass just outside the English team’s penalty box, and with his back to goal, he flicked the ball with a sensational drive with so much power. The strike went straight to the far angle of the goal post. The English goalkeeper followed the ball and dived full length to stop the ball from going to the net, but his timing was not fast enough to stop the goal-bound strike as he never expected such a strike, from a player backing the goal post. It was a fantastic goal which completely beat the goalkeeper.
“It’s was a goal I will never forget in my life, because i know other players will be looking for the opportunity to turn to see the position of the goalkeeper to pick his angle before shooting, but ‘Thunder’ Balogun’s brilliance was too quick for him to plan saving the ball from going into the goalpost. It was an unforgettable moment and it is indelible 51 years in mind,” Chief Onigbinde said.