Even before Nigeria to the field had taken over, it was clear that among friends at the Bosnia and Herzegovina forward Peter Odemwingie. With a broad smile and a contagious laugh, the Stoke City striker not only a popular motif in its own ranks, but an important part of Defense seemed opposition is to love him - or at least until his goal-scoring turn in Cuiabá elimination from the tournament sealed the Bosnians.
The figures in white embrace and chat with the soon-to be man of the match were Club team-mate Asmir Begovic and opposing Captain Emir Spahic, informed that the pitch of the Nigerian at Lokomotiv Moscow. The fact that their interaction was warm after the final whistle despite his solitary goal prematurely ends the European World Cup debut, a telling and touching reminder that football is only a game.
But despite his insider knowledge on which you would have prevailed over Begovic between the bars which he would attempt to beat, Odemwingie beckons as asked by FIFA.com, he... "(Laughs) No, I don't think such save one of the stronger sides of his game is shooting from close" after slots under large Bosnian from seven yards in the first half of the year the Super Eagles to any 1: 0 victory.
"He's a great guy. He knows I've got a good shot and I tried to shoot a couple of times today. I'm sure he will scold me if I come to stoke [laughs], back", said the bubbly, born in the present-day Uzbekistan, before taking a more sincere tone. "I had to do it for my country, but I was so happy to see him on the stage and I exchanged shirts with him at the end of the game."
See your friends come in this World Cup, especially with [ENG] as a captain, I can say only his pride, that they are my friends.
Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie on opposite Asmir Begand Emir Spahic by Bosnia and Herzegovina
He reflected the feelings, Spahics name has been raised, most recently to have played in 2009 in the Russian Premier League in addition to the commanding central defender. "I was happy to see him," he said lovingly. "We played together for about two or three good seasons so, see your friends come in this World Cup, especially with him as captain, only his pride I can say that they are my friends."
Understandably jovial Odemwingie laughed wondered whether he his fellow Super Eagles over how it had been passed the upper hand tips about his two friends in the opposing dressing room. "I told only my teammates, that's very dangerous with the head [ENG]," he said, before one friendly look in his eyes as a familiar picture a wandered towards him in the bowels of the arena Panatanl. The Nigerian continued to scream this time with a smile on his face: "he is not so great, but you should take care how he can score with his head."
A loud laughter met this response, which embraced his victorious opponent for the night shortly before the San. Odemwingie enquires, while the Bosnian now located near empty Stadium (a trip for a mandatory doping test the answer) is around and that a quick few chat in Russian, together before Andrew for his team bus left. Farewell request Odemwingie Spahic and co Nigeria against the Iran dropped came a look from the outgoing captain, that this particular friend pushing his luck was.
The Bosnians should avoid defeat it would be a huge boost for Nigeria, but who knows that a point against Argentina ride after worthy of the first victory since 1998 - a stretch of nine matches in the round of 16 would guarantee. "We so long waited for this victory," said Odemwingie. "I am so happy for the country, our fans, the team. It was one of the toughest three points in my career maybe, but."
Not the opening 0-0 draw against the Iran, but as a vibrant figure started after the arrival of the Bank, he hopes he has done enough to start game last in the decisive. "I've earned me a starting position and it was important to work today to keep hard it, especially in a big game like Argentina, which is a dream for every player to play."
With a little help from his friends Odemwingie will be pleased on matching Nigeria's biggest ever performance at the World Cup 1994 thrown back. It is however unlikely that he so hot is accepted by his opposition, as he was in Cuiabá.