The Super Eagles on Friday paid tribute to late Samuel Okwaraji after Nigeria’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final 1-0 win over Angola.
Super Eagles, in a tweet via its X account after Nigeria defeated Angola in the AFCON last-8, said Okwaraji’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“Today’s victory over Angola is a poignant reminder of the adamant spirit of Nigerian football,” Super Eagles tweeted.
“As we celebrate this triumph, we also honour the memory of late Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji, who tragically left us while playing against Angola 35 years ago.
“His passion for the game and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Samuel Okwaraji, your legacy lives on. #WeRememberOkwaraji #RIP.”
DAILY POST reports that Okwaraji slumped on the pitch and died during an encounter against Angola at the Main Bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on August 12, 1989.
The sad incident happened 77 minutes into the match, just 13 minutes to the final whistle.
The Nigeria team (then Green Eagles) were thrown into disarray, while the Angola team forgot the competition and joined in the futile attempts to revive Okwaraji.
An autopsy later revealed Okwaraji died from high blood pressure-induced congestive heart failure.