Nigeria captain and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama earned his 100th appearance on Wednesday but the Ugandans spoiled the party for the Lille LOSC custodian as the Super Eagles suffered a 1-0 loss at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo.
Enyeama becomes the 23rd African and only the second Nigerian men’s footballer to reach the 100-mark of appearances.
The Lille goalkeeper now joins the exclusive list that has Ahmed Hassan, Hossam Hassan, Essam El-Hadary, Rigobert Song, Ibrahim Hassan, Hany Ramzy, Didier Zokora, Geremi, Samuel Eto’o and Kolo Toure, who have 100 or more caps for their countries.
Others with 100 caps plus are Noureddine Naybet, Abdel-Zaher El-Saqua, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed El-Kass, Aaron Mokoena, Joseph Musonda, Radhi Jaidi, Ahmed Fathi, Nader El-Sayed, Didier Drogba, Elijah Tana and former Nigerian captain, Joseph Yobo.
But the 32-year-old was left with a bitter pill to swallow after achieving the milestone in his hometown in Akwa Ibom.
He also looks back to his 13-year international spell and admitted he has had “ups and downs,” and even acknowledged that he would have to call it quits at some point.
“I really appreciate God for this feat. I want to say thank you to all Nigerians at home and in the diaspora for this achievement. But it is a great disappointment [to lose on a day like this] but that is football. It is a team with new players, it is going to take time for us to blend.
“I mean 13 years in this colour has not been easy. There have been ups and downs throughout all this time. I have to stop at some point. Hundred in the bag, I am going to sit with the coaches and sort things out,” Enyeama said.
Enyeama made his debut in 2002 against Kenya’s Harambee Stars.
He has gone on to feature in four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2013 when Nigeria won the tournament in South Africa.
The former Enyimba man has played the most number of Fifa World Cup matches by any Nigerian being 10. He has appeared in the 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.