Okolie bags Durand Cup record

Odafe Okolie, captain of the Churchill Brothers football team, has scored 10 goals from 3 Durand Cup games.

updated: November 08, 2007 07:44 IST
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New Delhi:

Odafe Okolie, captain of the Churchill Brothers football team, has scored 10 goals from 3 Durand Cup games.

The Nigerian thinks its only God's blessing that's responsible for his prolific scoring.

Well, he will need some more of that if his team fancies a win against Mahindra United in the final today.

His name may be a bit of a tongue twister but Odafe Onyeka Okolie is a straightforward man.

The Churchill Brothers captain shoots it right into the goal post, and he does it very often.

"I don't think I have a hunger for anything else, only goals, nothing else. if I score or if the team wins I am very happy. Its important for the team to win not just me scoring a goal," said Okolie.

This winner from Odafe helped Churchill Brothers book a place in the Durand Cup final, where they will play Mahindra United.

And it's not the first time he's been on a goal spree. The Nigerian was the highest scorer in this year's National Football League as well as the Goa Professional League.

After a stint with Bangladesh's Muktijodhha Football Club, the striker returned to India last year.

"I think Nigerian football is very standard, but now Indian football is growing in a year or two. I like Baichung. He plays like me," said Okolie.

And in the little while that he's been captain, his infectious passion for the game has made him a favourite with his teammates as well.

"Odafe is definitely the best player we have now. He can do magic anytime on the field. If he gets a ball in the midfield he will definitely try and score a gaol. I think he is fantastic. He motivates the players and cheer them," said Mario Soares, Coach, Churchill Brothers FC.

Odafe Okolie isn't sure if he will settle down in Indian like fellow Nigereans Chima Okorie and Bernard Oparanozie to play football.

Well his goal scoring is certainly a huge headache for other teams and if he continues at this rate his dream of playing alongside the likes of Baichung Bhutia and Sunil Chettri, might come true very soon.