I gave Oliseh painkillers to play AFCON 2000 final – Okocha

May 19, 2021
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Former Super Eagles captain Austin Okocha says he gave Sunday Oliseh painkillers to play at the 2000 African Cup of Nations final against Cameroon in Lagos.

Oliseh was almost forced to pull out of the final after aggravating a hamstring injury in their 2-0 win over South Africa in the semi-final.

The defensive midfielder had a huge impact in the quarter-final win over Senegal, coming off the bench to bag an assist as the Eagles came from a goal down to beat the Teranga Lions 2-1.

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Recounting the final defeat to Cameroon on penalties, after full and extra time ended 2-2,  Okocha told The PUNCH, “We were having a good tournament heading into the final but Sunday (Oliseh) was not fully fit to play.

“We needed him in the team for the final and also as the captain of the team, so I offered him painkillers to play.

 “I gave him the painkillers because playing with him gave me and the forwards in the team more confidence to attack. It’s unfortunate that we lost the final the way we did in front of our home fans.”

The midfielder (Oliseh) also revealed he was far from fully fit for final.“Those are some of the sacrifices we made for our country. I wasn’t fully fit to play but I got assurance that some painkillers will relieve me for the duration of the final. It’s just sad that we lost the game.”

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