Changchun Yatai of China striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has disclosed that he was deeply devastated when he learnt about the injury report that has ruled him out of action for four weeks, as learnt by footballlive.ng.
The report confirmed that Ighalo will miss his club’s last match of the season in the Chinese Super League on Sunday as well as the Super Eagles’ Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa next weekend.
In reaction, Ighalo admitted it was a huge blow to his plans for club and country, especially as he was aiming for a personal record of goals scored in a single season and chance to extend his haul atop the AFCON 2019 qualifiers’ scorers’ log.
All that has now been dented by his latest injury blight, which the former Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Lyn Oslo of Norway, Udinese of Italy, Granada of Spain and Watford of England star says has left his emotionally down.
Ighalo, who was part of the Super Eagles’ 23 player list of invitees to battle South Africa on November 17, copped a hamstring injury in Changchun Yatai’s 2-2 home draw against Tianjin Quanjin on Wednesday.
A scan on Thursday showed that the injury had effectively ended his season with the Chinese Super League outfit and ruled him out of the Eagles-Bafana Bafana match in Johannesburg.
Top-placed Nigeria visit second-placed South Africa in a decisive Group E second to last AFCON 2019 qualifier FNB Stadium, as the Eagles eek a return to the continental showpiece after failing to reach the last two editions.
Nigeria need only a point from their next two games to reach next year’s finals in Cameroon, while Bafana Bafana need three to brighten their qualification chances.
The Eagles are also on a revenge mission, having lost 2-0 in the first match of the qualifiers to the South Africans in Uyo last year, and Ighalo is devastated that he will not be part of Nigeria’s mission to The Rainbow Nation.
Ighalo disclosed: “I was devastated and sad throughout the night because I have planned for and was waiting for this game.
“We were all very upset that we lost that first game and everybody wants to play the game to make amends, but God knows best.
“It is a very important game for us because we have missed two Nations Cups and we want this so bad. Also, we don’t want to lose to them again.
“I can’t travel right now, unfortunately. But I believe in the boys and I know that they will do the job there.”