Players who scored for Nigeria FC in the AFCON final

Players who scored for Nigeria FC in the AFCON final
Credit: Icon Sport

The Nigeria senior football team “Nigeria FC” has been a force to reckon with in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations final as not many African teams have appeared as many times as the three-time AFCON winners.

The place of Nigeria FC in this prestigious football competition is down to players who have made a good name for themselves home and abroad as members of the Nigeria Super Eagles.

The country's Super Eagles team have previously made a total of 7 AFCON final appearances, a feat only few African teams have achieved. Nigeria got to the finals in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1994, 2000, and 2013.

The 2023 AFCON will mark the 8th time Nigeria will participate in the final.

Super Eagles celebrate win over South Africa
Credit: Icon Sport

Notwithstanding, the Super Eagles have not really enjoyed many wins in their last AFCON final showings as they've managed to win in 1980, 1994, and 2013.

They've lost three AFCON finals to Cameroon (1984, 1988, and 2000) pause a bit and reflect on that!

Out of the 7 past AFCON finals Nigeria FC has played, six players have scored to help the country to win 3 AFCON titles and also lose 4 AFCON titles.

But before we delve into showing you the players who have found the back of the net for Nigeria in the AFCON final, it's worth mentioning that Nigeria did not score in 2 of their previous 7 finals (1988 & 1990) where they each lost 1-0 to Cameroon and Algeria respectively.

Who are the players who scored for Nigeria FC in the AFCON final?

Join us as we unveil the six Nigerian footballers who scored in the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria.

Segun Odegbami – 1980

Nigeria FC first AFCON final scorer, Segun Odegbami
Credit: X

Segun Odegbami has the record of being the first Nigerian footballer to score in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 when the country won its first AFCON title.

As hosts of the tournament, Otto Gloria led Nigeria all the way to the finals where they defeated Algeria 3-0 in Lagos. Odegbami, who finished as one of the top goal scorers of the 1980 edition, scored twice in the final (2′, 42′) to set Nigeria on course to victory.

He retired with 47 caps and 22 goals for Nigeria, cementing his place as one of the greatest forwards the nation has ever produced.

Mudashiru Lawal – 1980, 1984

Mudashiru Lawal of Nigeria FC
Credit: X

Popularly known as “Muda”, Mudashiru Lawal was a former Nigeria midfielder who found the back of the net in the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria.

The final was staged at the Surulere Stadium in Lagos where Muda put the icing on the cake for the Super Eagles as he made it 3-0 after Odegbami had put the team 2-0 to the good to ensure coach Gloria led the West African nation to its first continental glory.

Lawal went on to score in another AFCON final for Nigeria in 1984 where his 10th minute strike ended up being a consolation goal because the Super Eagles lost 3-1 to Cameroon at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

It's worth keeping in mind that Muda is the first and only Nigerian to score in two different AFCON finals (1980 & 1984).

Emmanuel Amuneke – 1994

Emmanuel Amuneke in action for Nigeria
Credit: X

At Stade El Menzah in Tunis, Amuneke scored twice (5′, 47′) as Nigeria came from a goal down to beat Zambia 2-1 in the 1994 final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Elijah Litana of Zambia had put the Chipolopolo in the lead as early as the 3rd minute before Amuneke scored two minutes later to draw level. He would go on to score two minutes into the second half to ensure Nigeria triumphed for the second time in the AFCON.

The winger retired with 27 caps and 9 goals for the Super Eagles and is a widely celebrated ex-international around the shores of the country.

Raphael Chukwu – 2000

Raphael Chukwu in action for his South African club
Credit: X

In the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations final between Nigeria and Cameroon that was played at the National Stadium in Lagos, Raphael Chukwu started the comeback for the Super Eagles after falling 2-0 behind to the Indomitable Lions.

Cameroon had gone ahead from a Samuel Eto'o and a Patrick M'boma strike which at the time looked to hand a defeat at home soil to Nigeria.

However, Chukwu's goal at the stroke of half-time gave Nigeria the morale and lifeline to mount a comeback in the second half.

Austin Okocha – 2000

Okocha in action for Nigeria FC
Credit: Icon Sport

Augustine Okocha, popularly known as “Jay-Jay Okocha”, completed the comeback for the Super Eagles against Cameroon in the AFCON 2000 final two minutes into the second half.

Both teams settled for a 2-2 draw after regulation and extra-time to bring the match to a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Nigeria lost to the Indomitable Lions 4-3 on penalties with Nwankwo Kanu and Victor Ikpeba missing their efforts. It was a hard blow for the team in front of their home fans as Cameroon picked their 3rd AFCON trophy and their third final win against Nigeria FC.

Sunday Mba – 2013

Sunday Mba in action for Nigeria FC
Credit: Icon Sport

Attacking midfielder Sunday Mba became just the sixth and last Nigerian to score in the final of an Africa Cup of Nations for the Super Eagles.

Against Burkina Faso in 2013 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mba found the back of the net at the 40 minute mark after bursting through the defense with pace while the ball was in the air to open the deadlock.

Neither side scored again as the Enyimba player proved to be the match winner for Stephen Keshi's side to mark the third AFCON trophy for Nigeria.

Who will be the next Nigerian to score in an AFCON final?

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final will be an opportunity to enter the history books as Nigeria takes on Ivory Coast in the final of the 34th edition of Africa's most prestigious football competition.

Sunday Mba became the sixth Super Eagle to net in the final 11 years ago. But on Sunday, 11 February 2024, another Super Eagle will have the chance to score for Nigeria in an AFCON final.

Which of the current Jose Peseiro players will find the back of the net? Leave your answer in the comment section for us.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.