Gyan’s praise means I’m good, says Nigeria’s Awoniyi

Nigeria Under-17 striker Taiwo Awoniyi feels good after impressing Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan with his exploits at the Under-17 World Cup in the UAE.

The Al Ain striker was at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium to watch the Nigeria - Iran knockout game in which the west Africans won 4-0. He patted the budding player on the back after the game.

“Wow,” Awoniyi said bashfully, shuffling his feet on the floor after hearing of the praises. “He [Gyan] is such a great striker and he knows that it isn’t always about scoring.”

He added: “A lot of times you have to work hard so that your team-mates can be the ones to get the goals.”

Awoniyi, who plays for Imperial Academy, has been a revelation at the tournament scoring twice already and would be the man to watch against Uruguay in the semi-finals.