Dosu Joseph: Super Eagles Icon Sheds Light on Oliseh’s World Cup Gesture After Goal Against Spain

Dosu Joseph: Super Eagles Icon Sheds Light on Oliseh’s World Cup Gesture After Goal Against Spain

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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S. Oliseh
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FIFA World Cup
  • Sunday Oliseh scored a wonder strike against Spain at the 1998 FIFA World Cup
  • The midfielder raced towards the stands, chanting the name of goalkeeper Dosu Joseph
  • The ex-Super Eagles keeper has opened up on the events of prior to the celebration

Former Nigerian international, Dosu Joseph has recounted what transpired shortly after Sunday Oliseh struck the winner against Spain during a group game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

Heading into the tournament, Spain were the outright favourite, having paraded some of the biggest names at the time, including captain Fernando Hierro, the stellar Raul Gonzalez, Luis Enrique, and Ivan Campo.

Sunday Oliseh, Dosu Joseph, France 1998 World Cup, Nigeria, Spain
Sunday Oliseh of Nigeria celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the World Cup game against Spain at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes. Image: Shaun Botterill.
Source: Getty Images

The Europeans opened the scoring in the 21st minute courtesy of a fine strike by Hierro, but a header from Mutiu Adepoju drew Nigeria level three minutes later.

Spain found the back of the net two minutes later, after high-flying Raul ran behind the Nigerian defence to tuck home, restoring his side's lead. But an own goal from then Barcelona shot-stopper Andoni Zubizarreta, who fumbled a cross from Garba Lawal, drew the Super Eagles level.

However, the defining moment would come in the 78th minute, when Sunday Oliseh struck a ‘worldie’ from outside the area, which turned out to be the winner.

The then Ajax star raced towards the corner flag, pointing to the stands and could be heard screaming the name 'Dosu', 'Dosu'.

Reminiscing the special moment, in an exclusive chat with Sports Brief, the goalkeeper disclosed that he told Oliseh that he would be on the scoresheet.

Dosu on Oliseh’s celebration

Quizzed about what transpired in the build-up to the game and the rather beautiful gesture from Oliseh, the 1996 Olympic Gold winner said:

"Yes, then before the game, I was in Italy when I called to tell him that I was coming to watch to support Nigeria.
"Immediately I arrived, I told him where I was sitting and that he was going to score in the game. So when he scored, he ran in the direction I was sitting, and he chanted my name.”

Touching on his reaction to the gesture and relationship with the former Super Eagles captain, he continued:

"It was really a moment that made me proud. Oliseh and I are childhood friends. We went to the same higher institution — Lagos State University and played for the same club [Julius Berger]. He was in Reggina when I went to Italy for trials. With his brother, he has been just like a family friend."

Despite what was indeed a heartwarming moment for many Nigerians, the World Cup in 1998 will, nonetheless, leave many fans of the Super Eagles with a sour taste, as the team led by Serbian Bora Milutinovic would go on to lose scandalously in the round of 16 by four goals to one against Denmark.

Super Eagles snubbed as AFCON favourite

Sports Brief previously reported Ivory Coast Football Federation chief, Yacine Diallo has snubbed Nigeria’s Super Eagles while naming his favourite teams to win the AFCON.

The 63-year-old Ivorian, who recently addressed the media to discuss a flurry of topics ahead of the tourney, also discussed his nation's preparation for the major tournament.

Diallo surprisingly opted against choosing the West African nation as favourites for the AFCON title and instead opted for defending champions Senegal, plus Egypt and Morocco.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).