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'Finally, I can smile' - Sunusi Ibrahim's relief after scoring for Montreal

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CF Montreal's Wanyama swaps his jersey for some spaghetti (0:20)

Victor Wanyama revisits his famous old tweet by gifting a fan his jersey in exchange for some spaghetti. (0:20)

It took Nigeria striker Sunusi Ibrahim 19 games to score his first goal for CF Montreal in Major League Soccer, and he told ESPN that he had been frustrated with his ongoing inability to score for the Impact.

The 18-year-old came off the bench on Sunday to pull the Canadian side level against New York Red Bull and provide the platform for a 2-1 win, with fellow African Victor Wanyama, of Kenya, scoring the winner.

The victory snapped a five-game winless run for the Impact, which was the major takeaway for Sunusi, who told ESPN: "Finally, I can smile.

"It took a lot of hard work to get to this level and scoring my first goal for CF is a testament that more will still flow in. But more importantly, it is the winning that matters."

And matter it did, as the goal and the result could not have come at a better time, with Montreal's last win coming almost a month prior, when they edged a nine-goal slugfest against FC Cincinnati.

Although he stayed patient, Sunusi says he was surprised the goal took so long to come: "I was thinking that by now I should have scored but sometimes in games, it is not as easy."

Frustrating as it was to go so long without a goal, this was by no means unfamiliar territory for the teenager. Sunusi says he also faced similar adversity during his time in the Nigeria Professional Football League, but was always confident that he would turn things around for himself and his team.

Patience and self-belief, he says, were the keys: "This is my first season in MLS. I needed to be patient but I was confident the goal would come.

"I remember when I was at Nasarawa United, in my first season, it was an abridged season so I did not even score. But the second season, I became the highest goal scorer.

"The most difficult thing I faced in the Nigerian league was one game against FC Ifeanyi Ubah.

"I should have scored about 5 goals in that game but I did not score even one. The management were so angry with me and I knew that I did not do well, but that day luck was not on my side. But I took it in good faith, because I knew myself and I believe in myself.

"I told them to be patient because the moment I scored one goal, the goals would start coming, but nobody believed that I was going to do that.

"At that time, Mfon Udoh had about 10 goals and he was leading the league but I came from behind to become top scorer at the end of the season."

The teenager joined the MLS side with high expectations in January, but did not make an appearance for the team until mid-May, coming on as a 75th minute substitute in a 2-0 win over Inter Miami.

He immediately stamped his authority on the game, creating two big chances and seeing a late shot whistle wide of the post.

He said: "I think I have also been a bit unlucky. In my first appearance, I was supposed to score but the ball just did not go the way I wanted it so I always knew the goal would come soon."

Off the field, he also had to adapt to drastically different conditions than he was used to in hot and humid northern Nigeria.

The youngster explained: "When I was in Montreal, the first day I just took a light jacket and went to training.

"I did not have a proper jacket because I had just come from Nigeria and I thought the weather wouldn't be so bad, maybe a bit colder than Nigeria. I did not know it would be so cold!

"I got to training and everyone was looking at me like I was crazy. I think the temperature was like -30 something, I could not even put on my shoes properly.

"So they told me I had to dress properly and someone gave me a jacket and that is how I started to learn to adapt to the weather."

A quick and powerful striker with a precise finish in the NPFL, Sunusi says he has had to work hard to improve his game: "The MLS has made me a better player by adding more speed and quickness to my game.

"The game here is quicker, and the MLS defenders are more difficult to play against than NPFL defenders, because they have the exposure and they have played against top players. So for me it is very different from the NPFL and more difficult."

It has been a remarkable ride for the youngster, who spent time briefly with Watford in England before making the decision to come to MLS, instead.

But he says he has much bigger ambitions, both for club and international career: "My ambition is to play in the MLS and then move to any club in Europe.

"In five years, I want to be the best player in the league and the best player in the Super Eagles.

"I am hoping to work hard to make sure that I get the shirt for the Super Eagles. I already played with the home based team.

"Any moment from now, I hope to be there because nobody will do it for you, you have to do it by yourself. You need to work hard and keep on praying."