“My first goal in Serie A makes me happy” – Out-of-favour Super Eagles star pleased to make Udinese impact

The Little Zebras were close to their third league win of the campaign on Wednesday evening, which would have been handed to them by their Nigerian import

Nigerian forward Isaac Success has expressed delight at netting his first Serie A goal in Udinese’s 1-1 draw against Verona at the Dacia Arena in a matchday ten tie.

The former Granada attacker is, however, disappointed that the White and Blacks could not hold out for only their Serie A win.

Success, earning his first start for the club he joined in the summer, opened the scoring for Udinese after just three minutes when he outmuscled Verona’s Ceccherini before sending a fierce shot into the visitors’ net.

The goal got the 25-year-old into the record books as he became the first Udinese striker to score on his full Serie A debut since Alexandre Geijo in 2014 against Sampdoria.

But it was not enough to bag the maximum points for the Little Zebras as Verona fought back to claim a share of the spoils thanks to an Antonin Barak penalty in the 83rd minute.

And Success, who netted two Premier League goals across 59 appearances for Watford, was left with mixed feelings at the end of the encounter.

“Before the game, my teammates loaded me up, then I know my qualities and I know what contribution I can give to the team, I play with confidence and I always try to do my best,” the former Malaga loanee told Udinese TV.

“My first goal in Serie A makes me happy but the result disappoints us because I think we deserved better tonight; now we have to think about Sunday.”

Success becomes one of a few Nigerian footballers to have scored in the Premier League, Serie A, and La Liga – three of Europe’s biggest championships but he remains humble.

The powerful attacker reserved kind words for Udinese coach Luca Gotti, his members of staff, and his teammates, who helped him settle quickly at the Italian club.

“The Coach is a great man and has a great personality, all the staff are of great help to everyone and even before arriving, I spoke to the coach and I immediately felt at ease,” Success added.

“Today when I saw the formation, I was a bit surprised but at the same time, I thought it was an opportunity to be exploited; whoever is on the bench must always be ready to give their contribution. Tonight is my first goal here but I hope to score others and help the team.

“I don’t feel special. I think first of the team and I want to contribute to the common good, we are a group and I want to give everything. Too bad for the result but we look to the next game, we are all disappointed with today’s result and the boys want to redeem themselves”.

Injuries reduced Success’ impact at Watford, with the Nigerian seeing just over 300 minutes of action for the Hornets in the Championship last term.

He was far from being match fit when he completed his summer switch to Udine and had to wait until the matchday nine tie at Atalanta to make his Serie A debut last weekend.

Manager Luca Gotti has confessed he had no plans to start Success as they both agreed to let him feature for the final 30 minutes against Verona.

A late injury to key man Pussetto, however, forced the Italian coach to change plans and hand a full debut to an attacker who has not played for the Super Eagles since 2018. 

However, the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup winner ended as one of the Zebras’ best performers on the night despite being withdrawn after an hour, and Gotti was pleased with his contribution.

“(Success) told me before the game that he thought he had about half an hour in his legs,” Gotti told Udinese TV.

“Then these 30 minutes became 60, although not all with the same intensity, but we all saw the kind of contribution he can make.”

Udinese continue to struggle in the lower half of the Italian Serie A and face another potentially difficult game away to champions Inter Milan this weekend.

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