MLS Int'l Roundup: Bright Dike makes case for Nigeria World Cup roster spot with goal vs. Italy
With no other MLSers in international action on Monday, Toronto FC forward Bright Dike had the spotlight to himself.
And the Oklahoma native delivered big time, scoring his first official goal in a Nigeria uniform and helping his cause to make the Super Eagles' World Cup roster ... against Italy.
After fellow American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi opened the scoring for the Azzurri in the 12th minute of Monday's friendly at London's Craven Cottage, Dike powered into the box to head in Shola Ameobi's cross in the 35th minute for the equalizer.
It was the TFC man's second goal for Nigeria, but first in an official match (he scored in a friendly back in January against Catalonia, who are not a FIFA-sanctioned nation).
The Super Eagles surged out in front four minutes later, but the Italians pulled even two minutes into the second half as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
Nigeria booked a spot in Brazil 2014 this past weekend with a 4-1 aggregate-goal victory over Ethiopia in the final round of African qualifying as Dike watched from the bench. He'll have a fight on his hands to break through a crowded stable of strikers, but his performance will certainly give head coach Stephen Keshi something to think about in the months ahead.
Nigeria – drew 2-2 vs. Italy in London, friendly
Bright Dike (TFC) - Started, scored in 35th minute, played 65 minutes