By Umaid Wasim,
KARACHI: The magnitude of Oludeyi Abayomi Sunday’s winner for K-Electric in their AFC Cup Playoff Group ‘A’ match against Khoromkhon in Thimpu on Thursday was such that it was celebrated with great fervour back in his home country Nigeria.
Leading those jubilations was Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha.
“Sunday’s goal was instinctive … he showed exactly what he can do and the difference he can make to a game,” former Super Eagles captain Okocha, who is also the player’s agent, told Dawn in a telephonic conversation from Nigeria on Thursday.
Sunday, who came on as a substitute in the 43rd minute, scored 16 minutes from time after controlling the ball superbly with the outside of his left foot before running into the box and angling a shot across Khoromkhon goalkeeper Uros Poljanec and into the net.
The Nigerian, who signed up for K-Electric two years ago and led them to their maiden Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) title last season, went close with a flying header minutes before scoring but his goal saw Majid Shafiq’s side get their maiden win on the continent.
“His goal shows how important he is for K-Electric and even though he did not start, he was eager to play a big part in their win,” Okocha, who lit up the English Premier League during his time at Bolton Wanderers, added.
“Sunday had several offers from abroad since last year but he really wanted to play in the AFC Cup qualifiers and hopefully he will be an integral part of the side if they advance to the playoffs and beyond.”
K-Electric, who played out a 3-3 draw with Bhutanese side Druk United in their opener on Tuesday, will now wait for the match between the hosts and Khoromkhon on Saturday to see whether they advance to the playoffs or not.
But for now, their coach Majid was full of praise for their match-winner.
“I told Sunday he will be a second-half hero and he showed his worth,” Majid told Dawn from Thimpu after the match. “Today’s performance will give K-Electric and Pakistan football the desire for further success.”
Sunday, meanwhile, hailed the team’s effort as he won the man-of-the-match award for his winning goal.
“I’m proud to have secured a tremendous victory for the team,” he said. “It is important to realise the hard work the team put in and this victory is for all K-Electric players.”