Nigeria star Alex Iwobi recounts how Thomas Partey ruined his celebratory video in World Cup qualifiers

Published on: 10 October 2023

Nigeria midfielder Alex Iwobi has shared an intriguing anecdote about his experience during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, revealing an unexpected twist in his attempt to document the journey.

Iwobi, who was suspended for Ghana's playoff match against Nigeria, recounted how he had initially planned to create a celebratory video if Nigeria had secured qualification. His suspension prevented him from participating in the crucial game, which added a unique perspective to his viewing experience.

The first leg of the playoff, held in Kumasi, Ghana, had ended in a goalless draw, leaving both teams with everything to play for in the return leg in Abuja. Iwobi and his friends were eagerly watching the match, hoping for a triumphant outcome for Nigeria.

As he recalled on The Beautiful Game podcast, Iwobi explained, "I couldn't even go to play against Ghana because I had a red card in AFCON. I was fuming. I was watching with my boys at home thinking like yeah, we're going to leak something. We were watching, trying to create a documentary because we're thinking, 'This is our opportunity...we're gonna get there..'"

However, fate took an unexpected turn during the match. The second leg ended with a goal each for both teams, resulting in Ghana securing qualification for the World Cup based on the away goal rule. Iwobi described the atmosphere in his home during the critical moments, saying, "Then Thomas Partey bagged that goal. So I remember in my house, it was just like this (silent)."

Ghana, meanwhile, failed to impress in Qatar as they exited the tournament in the first round after one win.

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