On this day 1998, at the Parc des Princes in Paris, the Super Eagles edged Bulgaria in a thrilling World Cup encounter decided by a solitary strike by the then reigning African Footballer of the Year Victor Ikpeba.
The victory ensured the Nigerians progressed to the knockout rounds of France ‘98 with a game to spare. They had earlier beaten Spain 3-2 in their opening game to record Nigeria’s fourth win in six games since their debut at the FIFA World Cup four years earlier.
The assist for Ikpeba’s goal was provided by Nigerian legend Daniel Amokachi, who was making his 45th appearance in Nigeria’s famous green and white strips.
Amokachi, joint 11th on Nigeria’s all-time scorers’ list with 13 goals (along with Nwankwo Kanu and Sunny Oyarekhua), would eventually make his final competitive appearance for Nigeria eight months later in Dakar, in a 1-1 draw against Senegal before niggling injuries sadly brought his national team appearances to an end.
Ikpeba, on the other hand played for another four years during which he won AFCON medals in 2000 and 2002 and just missed a third World Cup appearance at Japan/South Korea by whiskers.
Video courtesy of Ifeanyi Andrew Ibeh