Karl Namnganda says Central African Republic have to “dream of the unattainable” after their shock victory over Nigeria in qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
The 25-year-old scored his first-ever worldwide aim in stoppage-time in Lagos on Thursday to inflict the Tremendous Eagles’ first dwelling defeat in a World Cup qualifier since October 1981.
CAR are two factors behind Group C leaders Nigeria and play Gernot Rohr’s facet once more on Sunday – with solely the group winners reaching subsequent March’s play-offs for Qatar.
“I will not lie, I give it some thought [qualifying for the World Cup],” Namnganda mentioned.
“Everything is feasible in soccer. With our younger squad, we dream.
“And in soccer to go far you must dream of the unattainable. We’ve got to make use of the momentum and provides all we now have.”
Namnganda solely made his debut for Central African Republic, ranked 124th on the planet, within the earlier worldwide window in September.
However the striker, who performs for Les Herbiers, a fourth-tier newbie staff in France, took his likelihood with confidence after approaching instead.
“In my head, I had already seen the goalkeeper wasn’t on his line,” he mentioned.
“When the ball entered (the aim), I used to be on the lookout for the digicam to thank our followers and my household.
“I used to be working to the left, to the correct and I could not discover the digicam and on the similar time all my teammates entered the pitch. I did not realise it went so quick!”
Nigeria are the fifth-ranked staff in Africa and the Tremendous Eagles had a number of Premier League gamers of their line-up towards CAR.
Watford defender William Troost-Ekong, Brentford midfielder Frank Onyeka and Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho all began together with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, the costliest African participant in historical past.
Central African Republic, in the meantime, would not have an expert participant of their squad.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, the star captain of the Wild Beasts, determined to take a break from worldwide obligation in August after a dispute with the nation’s federation.
“It is spectacular to play towards them,” Namnganda mentioned.
“After we arrived on the stadium, it was humorous to see the Nigerians. Osimhen I watch scoring targets with Napoli and he’s a participant I like.
“Moses (Simon), since I play within the area of Nantes, I see him each weekend with FC Nantes (in French Ligue 1).
“I used to be upset to not begin the sport. However with exhausting work and willpower, it is doable to show issues round.”
Messages from CAR diaspora
The Confederation of African Soccer (CAF) has not allowed Central African Republic to play its dwelling video games in Bangui, and the return match towards Nigeria will as a substitute be held in Douala, Cameroon.
Consequently, Namnganda won’t be able to play in entrance of his household again in a rustic that he left as a one-year-old to dwell in France.
“My dad despatched messages to inform me that individuals within the household again in CAR had been asking if it was actually me or if it was another person,” he mentioned.
“I assume once they noticed my title it amazed them.
“I obtained so many messages from the diaspora. Lots of people contacted me by way of Instagram or Snapchat, all of the socials.
“One among my aunties based mostly in London referred to as me and cried as a result of she all the time believed in me.”
The outing in Nigeria is the height of Namnganda’s profession after years of struggles.
In 2017, he determined to give up soccer and was delivering pizzas at Vigneux-sur-Seine the place he grew up following a disappointing expertise in Belgium with Seraing’s Below-21 staff.
However certainly one of his cousins insisted he go on a trial with SC Cholet, a third-tier staff in France, the place he spent a yr and a half to assist his profession take off.
And, after his dramatic strike in Lagos, Namnganda should be glad of the recommendation to offer the sport one other shot.
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