Three-time African Player of the Year Abedi Pele says the Super Eagles of Nigeria thought they were untouchable hence their defeat in the semi-final of the 1992 AFCON was a memorable one for Ghana.
Ghana came from a goal down to beat the Eagles 2-1 and qualify for the final where they eventually lost on penalties to Cote d’Ivoire.
The Eagles won their two group games against host Senegal (2-1) and Kenya (2-1).
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In the quarter-final against Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) late Rashidi Yekini’s first half goal secured a last four berth.
Mutiu Adepoju opened scoring for the Eagles before Pele and Prince Polley got on the score sheet to send Ghana into the final.
The Eagles went on to beat Cameroon 2-1 in the bronze medal match thanks to goals from Friday Ekpo and Yekini.
And recalling how Ghana stopped Nigeria, Pele speaking as a guest on GTV Sports Plus: “In 1992, Nigeria thought they were untouchable because they had the men but we surprised them.”
Speaking on the yellow card he received against Nigeria which ruled him out of the final, Pele said: “The ball was a throw-in, and the ref gave a free kick so I simply told him I was closer and that it was a throw-in and he got upset and showed me a Yellow Card.
“Of course I regret that action. I apologized very much to my countrymen afterwards. It was weighing on me. In that tournament we were on top, the best. People are hurt that I didn’t play in the final and I apologise. I am human. Occasionally you can be so determined and that is where you get it wrong. Sometimes you want it so much that it blows in your face.
“I just told myself after the Yellow Card that even if I am not going to play in the finals, I must take my team to the finals. I was determined. That brought the goals and everything.”
And on his equaliser against Nigeria, the 1993 UEFA Champions League winner with Olympique Marseille said: “I asked him (the corner kick taker) to give me the ball because I believed the guy marking me, I could move without him seeing it. The guy marking me was nowhere to be found but because I had one step ahead of him, I was gone. That was the only direction I could go and I was fortunate that there was no one on that post.”
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