Uche goal ends injury nightmare

Real Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche has put behind him an injury nightmare that sidelined him over 18 months with another goal for Nigeria in a friendly against Kenya at the Abuja National Stadium.

Uche, who suffered two long-term knee injuries that prevented him from featuring at last year's FIFA World Cup South Africa™, scored in stoppage time to give Nigeria a 3-0 win over their Kenyan counterparts.

On Sunday, he came off the substitute bench to hit a brace as Nigeria trounced Ethiopia 4-0 in a 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

"I'm delighted to be playing football again after being out for a very long time," said Uche. "Even if I was not scoring and the team are winning, I would still have been very happy."

I'm delighted to be playing football again after being out for a very long time.
Ikechukwu Uche, Nigeria forward

 Uche was joint top scorer for Nigeria with four goals during the combined qualifying tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Nations Cup before a knee injury kept him out of both competitions.

"His comeback was then cut short by yet another knee injury and he only returned to action with his Spanish club last month," said Everton striker Victor Anichebe, who got Nigeria's second goal against Kenya just three minutes after the interval.

"I'm happy for Uche because I know what it means to be out for long because of injury because I also suffered such fate."

Anichebe's goal was master-class. He controlled the ball with his chest with a Kenyan defender shadowing him, before he turned around to fire home a powerful left shot. VVV Venlo forward Ahmed Musa opened the scoring for the Super Eagles after just three minutes when he reached the end of a through ball by Anichebe to slot home. It was his first goal at full international level.

Kenya's best moment was on the half hour when McDonald Mariga from Inter Milan pounced on a pass from the left to whip a powerful shot which Dele Aiyenugba, in goal for Nigeria, somehow scrambled away.