Asisat Oshoala made global headlines in Nigeria’s 3-2 upset win over Australia in the group stage of the World Cup on Thursday.
Oshoala came off the bench to score the decisive goal in the victory for Nigeria in the 72nd minute. She then channeled U.S. women’s national team legend Brandi Chastain’s iconic 1999 celebration by tearing off her jersey.
Who is Oshoala? Just Women’s Sports has the rundown.
Nigeria debut: June 8, 2015
Total caps: 24
ARE YOU KIDDING ME 🇳🇬Asisat Oshoala comes off the bench and takes advantage of a mistake from Australia's backline to finish it at a tough angle! pic.twitter.com/t7tjEvBQfp— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
ARE YOU KIDDING ME 🇳🇬Asisat Oshoala comes off the bench and takes advantage of a mistake from Australia's backline to finish it at a tough angle! pic.twitter.com/t7tjEvBQfp
Oshoala is one of the most celebrated African players of all time. The 28-year-old forward for Nigeria and Barcelona was born in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria. Her parents did not approve of her playing soccer, and she had to sneak away when she played. She dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue the game.
She turned into one of her nation’s biggest stars and, with her goal on Thursday, became the first African player to score in three Women’s World Cups. She has won Africa’s Women’s Footballer of the Year a record five times.
“I want to make sure I fight for my teammates, fight for this badge. This is the best county in the world,” Oshoala said after the Australia win.
Oshoala joined Barcelona on loan in 2019, and then transferred to the team after the season. She has scored 95 goals for the club and helped lead the team to the 2019-20 Copa de la Reina and 2019-20 Supercopa de España Femenina championships.
Before that, Oshoala played for Chinese club Dalian Quanjian, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Asisat Oshoala full post-match interview #AUSNIG pic.twitter.com/pF7gsWqie7— LION OF JADA (@lionofjada) July 27, 2023
Asisat Oshoala full post-match interview #AUSNIG pic.twitter.com/pF7gsWqie7
Oshoala brings a wealth of experience, having played in three previous World Cups and served as captain of the 2019 team. She also led Nigeria to African Women’s Championships in 2016 and 2018.
She remains one of most Nigeria’s dangerous weapons despite starting the Australia game on the bench, a decision meant to manage her long-term leg injury, coach Randy Waldrum said. When she does play, she can provide instant offense.
“She’s such a force physically,” Waldrum said. “She can create problems — the third goal was massive. When we talked about her role — she’s like any player, she wants to be on all the time — I said, ‘I just have a feeling, come on for the last 30 minutes and make a difference.’”
Randy Waldrum, Nigeria coach: “When you think of African football, people think of Asisat, and she’s a big blend of a couple of great traits; she’s just a stud athlete, a big player, physically strong, fast, hyper-athletic, and she’s got a great soccer IQ.”
Jonatan Giráldez, Barcelona coach: “Attitude, desire, predisposition. Asisat was one of the most important players at the start of last year.”