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Usiyen was Nigeria’s best striker, Dudu-Orumen Mourns

 Thompson Usiyan

Edo State Sports Council boss, Godwin Dudu-Orumen, has described the late Super Eagles player, Thompson Usiyen, as the best striker to play for Nigeria.

In a statement, Dudu-Orumen said, “Thompson Usiyen, a product of Hussey College, Warri, in the mid 70s, in my opinion was the best striker ever to play for Nigeria.

“He could create chances for himself, dribbled well, headed well and could shoot with both foot. He was very skilful and technically gifted.

“For his clubs, Ndoro Island FC and Asabatex FC, he played as attacking midfielder and often switched to central striking role with the same game. I don’t have the exact stats but l believe that in about 23 or 24 outings for the Green Eagles he must have scored about 18 goals.

“A member of the Dire Dawa Eagles at the Ethiopia’76 Nations Cup, Thompson distinguished himself alongside other greats like Baba Otu Mohammed, Kunle Awesu, Emetiole Kelechi, Christian Chukwu, Joseph Effiong Eric(aka Erico), Muda Lawal, Sunny Oyarekhua and co. His absence from the Green Eagles v Tunisia in the second leg of the World Cup Qualification Game in Lagos was probably the one big reason Nigeria didn’t make the World Cup in 1978.

“His temperament and discipline were something young footballers could learn from. Great player, great guy. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”

According to information gathered, Usiyan died, aged 65, at his Lamset Redonda beach home in California, United States.

In his brief spell he had with the national team, he played 24 times he averaged a goal per game.

Usiyan came into national limelight the moment he came in as a dying minute substitute for the then Mid Western State intermediate team that beat Western State in Lagos in 1973.

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