‘I can’t put into words how proud I am to be Nigerian’ – Nigeria on top of the world after winning World In One City

Nigeria won the first ever World In One City football tournament after beating West Indies in the final.

They were unbeaten throughout with Bohan Dixon starring for the Nigerians thanks to his goalscoring exploits.

Sixteen nations within the Merseyside community were formed as part of the competition and eventually was narrowed down to just two.

The four groups saw two teams in each bracket progress into the knockout stage – as with any UEFA or FIFA tournament – but the representatives of each nation, from within the Liverpool region, had the opportunity to represent their country and singing their national anthem prior to kick off.

Two wins and a draw saw the Nigerians top the group with seven points as Kurdistan progressed alongside them. Bangladesh and Ghana failed to reach the knockout stages.

Congo were easily dispatched in the quarter-finals by a three-goal scoreline but it was a lot tighter against Jamaica in the last four as they single goal decided it for Nigeria.

In a rollercoaster final, Bohan Dixon – who was Nigeria’s top scorer – got proceedings underway breaking the deadlock after 36 minutes before West Indies equalised.

But 10 minutes after the restart, they regained the lead through Obi Anuoro, which proved to be the winner.

Manager Malik Ramon Osi-Efa was delighted with his sides performances throughout the competition and expressed his pride at representing his country and leading them to glory.

He told Off The Park: “The team played brilliant considering we played our very first game together in a friendly the week before. [It] Was such a shock to the system with the small pitch but the players adapted to the game quickly.

“I was very confident going into the tournament and from the start I told the team ‘we’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!’ and fortunately that’s what we did. Players like Phil Ojapah, Bohan Dixon and Obi Anuoro in our team the spine was strong.

“I had six midfielders I believe wouldn’t look out of place in any team in the tournament.

“Our goalkeeper is a striker and last minute went in goal as we never had a goalkeeper and when he was called upon to keep us in the games.

“I switched the formation up in the final playing one striker so we were more packed in midfield prepared for the keepers long balls,” the 33-year-old said expressing his thoughts behind his final selection.

“We struggled to hold up the ball in attract first half but the defence held strong.

“I believe we deserved the win as we were strong throughout the tournament but respect to every team we played because they certainly raised the game.

“This tournament can be so big it’s crazy and To be the first winners and write our names in history is on a next level. The response since winning has been brilliant not just in Liverpool 8 but throughout the city it’s unbelievable

“My grandparents are full Nigerian but my father was born in liverpool. I always used to stay in my Nan and Grandads and they used to tell me my roots and how they came to Liverpool (my grandad being a captain of a Nigerian shipping company).

“So to represent Nigeria in a city tournament let alone win it, I can’t put into words how proud I am to be Nigerian.”

(Featured Image by Nick Gerrard)