Somebody has called my attention to a terrible plagiarism of my work by one Samuel Ifeanyi Onwuachuke who described himself as a “self meida writer”. The fellow lifted my article entitled “The Match That Broke The Myth” which was originally published in THISWEEK magazine in the 1980s and was then included in INTENSIVE ENGLISH for SS2which has been used by generations of students studying English for WASCE. The thief did not give me any credit at all, did not mention my name anywhere before lifting my entire piece which he published in OPERA News by giving it the title below:
Etim Esin: The man behind the historical match that broke the myth
By Samuel Ifeanyi ONWUACHUKE (self meida writer)
Content created and supplied by: Samuel Ifeanyi ONWUACHUKE (via Opera News )
Here is the piece I wrote that he stole:
THE MATCH THAT BROKE THE MYTH
By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
It is not every day that a soccer match is laced with the trappings of myth and history. For 13 years, the Zambian national team stood between Nigeria and the goal-post of soccer success like an awesome goalkeeper. But on Saturday, August 30, the FIFA-Coca Cola Junior World Cup second leg match between the two countries provided the ultimate platform for the challenge of the Zambian jinx.
An estimated 80,000 Nigerian fans made the journey to the National Stadium to witness what would be the making of history or the extension of a myth. The previous Saturday, some 100,000 Nigerians had watched with quaking hearts their world-conquering Golden Eaglets squander a penalty kick and so many chances to score before posting a goalless draw with enterprising Ghana for FIFA-Kodak World Cup preliminaries. The coach of the Eaglets, Sebastian Broderick Imasuen, had explained the lack-lustre performance of his boys thus: “The huge crowd overwhelmed the boys; they had not played under such pressures before.”
For the Junior Eagles, this Saturday was different. All it took to break the Zambian jinx was a 60th minute piece of soccer magic conjured off the lethal right foot of Nigeria’s Etim Esin. Running deep into the Zambian half, the right winger, cast in mould of Argentina’s Diego Maradona, took a pass from midfielder Thompson Oliha, and powerfully fending off the spirited challenge of Zambian central defender Henry Malambo, slotted the ball home to the right of formidable goalkeeper Stephen Mwansa. The crowd erupted in a rapturous cheer.
Play had kicked off at 4:25 p.m, with cool serene weather bathing the arena. The fans, some of who came as early as 9.00 am, may have been overwhelmed by thoughts of a goal feast, when, as early as the fourth minute, Nduka Ugbade took a flying sizzler that hit the right post of Mwansa’s goal. Attacking midfielder Victor Igbinoba was, in the 12th minute, hacked down by Zambia’s Alik Chuba. The resultant free-kick by Esin gave the Zambians their next fright. Barely three minutes later, the injured Igbinoba was replaced by Okon Ene. The game was delayed for three minutes when goalkeeper Mwansa fell down after intercepting a 19th minute pullout by Esin.
The Zambians soon settled into the game, taking the midfield from the Nigerians and spraying passes with admirable accuracy and grace. A corner-kick in the 28th minute was misjudged by Nigerian goalkeeper and captain William Opara, but the Zambian header that followed lacked direction and power. Industrious Ugbade replied in the next minute with a solo dribble run down the left, only to be halted near the six-metre box. Two minutes later, John Solo shot over the bar with goalkeeper Opara at his mercy. When referee J.P Maspangou blew off the first half, many Nigerian heads were bowed in fear.
When the half-time break was over, the Zambians trotted back into the field and waited for five minutes for the Nigerians to come out. When the Junior Eagles finally appeared from the tunnel, they gathered in a compact circle and prayed, as they had done at the start and end of the first half.
The second half was barely a minute old when Zambia’s Langston Phiri latched on to a miskick by Nigeria’s Okon Ene and promptly beat goalkeeper Opara with a rising shot. The referee ruled offside. Esin, smarting from the Zambian attack, cut in forcefully through the left but striker Lawrence Ukaegbu could not make hay. Esin broke loose in the 51st minute, but given the rather simple choice of lobbing the ball over the head of a helpless goalkeeper, he chose instead to shoot hastily and wide. Two minutes later, Jonathan Akpoborire replaced the half fit Okon Ene to add more pep to the Nigerian attack.
In the 60th minute, Esin atoned for all his misses with the angular shot that made the difference.
A Nigerian network of passes soon found the Zambians kicking the air and the Nigerian fans cheering away in pure ecstasy.