Tornadoes’ Usman Bashir is Matchday 22 VAT Wonder Goal winner

Niger Tornadoes’ Usman Bashir’s goal against FC Ifeanyiubah emerged fans’ favourite for the Matchday 22 VAT Wonder Goal Award, shaking off a strong challenge by Anthony Okpotu’s strike against former champions, Rangers International.

Bashir secured 204 of the total 374 votes to beat Okpotu to second place with the Lobi Stars forward picking 143 votes. Elijah Ani of Wikki Tourists, the third shortlisted player for the poll only managed 27 votes.

An analysis of the polls showed that majority of Bashir’s support came from voters on the website where he secured 115 votes to Okpotu’s 12 while Ani had no votes at all. Okpotu clinched the Twitter votes with 131 but it was no sufficient to match the combination of Bashir’s 89 Twitter votes and the 115 from the website.

Bashir would be the first player from Niger Tornadoes to win the three-season-old award instituted by the League Management Company (LMC) to promote club and community engagement through charity. Interestingly, his goal was the backbreaking winner against FC Ifeanyiubah in their first ever home defeat in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Bashir had been put clear on the ball and after a perfect first touch, chose his spot to net the winning goal to deflate the home side’s ceaseless raid for a winner.

He joins the growing list of this season’s VAT Wonder Goal Award that is supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and will receive the prize money of N150,000 half of which will be donated to a Charity he will nominate from the city where the club is based.

Other winners earlier this season include the duo of Rivers United Emeka Ogbugh and Sochima Elum, Sunshine Stars’ Sikiru Alimi, Rangers International’s duo of Kelvin Itoya and Tope Olusesi, Sikiru Olatunbosun of MFM and Najeem Olukoku of Nasarawa United.

The ceremonial presentation of the award will hold on Sunday, June 10 at the Bako Kotangora Stadium in Minna before kick-off of the Matchday 23 fixture between Niger Tornadoes and Wikki Tourists.