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By ESPN Staff
May 5, 2012

Yekini dies aged 48

Former Nigeria striker Rashidi Yekini has died aged 48.

Yekini, who scored Nigeria's first ever World Cup goal 1994, died suddenly in Ira, Nigeria.

The striker, who played for Portuguese side Vitoria Setubal, Greek giants Olympiakos and Spanish team Sporting Gijon, is best remembered for his goals at the World Cup in the United States.

He scored his country's first World Cup goal in a 3-0 win over Bulgaria. His celebration, running into the goal and clutching the netting was one of the tournament's most memorable images.

Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou said: "I remember him well. He was a solid attacker - it was so difficult to take the ball from him.

"His physical strength was impressive. His joviality made him an endearing character. He has made a mark on his generation and received recognition from the pantheon of African football.

"In these painful circumstances I want to send in my name and on behalf of all the executive committee and the entire African football family my deepest condolences to his people, the Nigerian Federation and all its supporters. May God bless his soul and comfort his family.2

Yekini, who was named African Footballer of the Year in 1993, was top scorer as Nigeria won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and also appeared at the 1998 World Cup.

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