Taye Taiwo Reveals Why Mikel Obi Refused To Take Penalty Against The Dutch in Quarter-finals

Taye Taiwo Reveals Why Mikel Obi Refused To Take Penalty Against The Dutch in Quarter-finals
Former Nigerian international Taye Taiwo has revealed that John Obi Mikel refused to take a penalty kick in Nigeria’s shootout win (10-9) quarter-finals game against the host nation the Netherlands at the 2005 U-20 FIFA World Cup.

In the 46th minute, former Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar cancelled out John Owoeri’s first minute goal to take the game to extra-time then penalties.

Mikel was not among the five penalty takers in the shootout but the former Lyn Oslo wonderkid was forced to take a penalty kick after the game went to sudden-death penalties.

“Mikel was on the bench with them, he did not want to play. I told him he has to play because everybody is shooting. Then he scored,” Taiwo said to Eagles Tracker in an Instagram conversation.

“Dele Adeleye, Kaita, our goalkeeper Ambrose scored. Two or three players missed penalties. We kept playing, everybody was scoring.

“Then I said to Ambrose, ‘he’s not going to change, he’s going to the right side’ and he asked me if I was sure.”

With Collins John missing for the Netherlands, Taiwo scored the winning penalty to send the Flying Eagles through to the semi-finals of the competition.

In the build-up to the winning spot kick, Onyekachi Apam advised the players to allow Taiwo take the penalty kick because of his Lagos roots.

“When they lost the penalty, Onyekachi Apam told the players that Taiwo should take the penalty because he’s from Lagos, so if he loses they will wait for him at the airport.

“When I had the ball in my hands, I said this is the right time to make Nigeria proud, I looked at the coach Siasia.

“I decided not to change, I’ll use the same angle even if the goalkeeper guesses right, I will play it with power, that was what was in my mind, I shot the ball and it went in,” explained Taiwo.

Taye Taiwo was awarded the bronze ball at the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Netherlands, Mikel the silver ball and Argentina striker Lionel Messi was voted best player.

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