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Abedi Pele: Super Eagles Thought They Were Untouchable At 1992 AFCON

Abedi Pele: Super Eagles Thought They Were Untouchable At 1992 AFCON

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.

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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.”

By James Agberebi

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  • Sorry Abedi Pele. Maybe you also got the yellow card that stopped you from playing in the final because you thought you were untouchable too. The bottom line is that Ghana did not win 1992 afcon too. Ghana got silver and Nigeria got bronze. Therefore, we belonged to the same whatsapp group in that tournament. Both did not get the grand prize but a consolation. Welcome to the club of the “untouchables”

  • Hahahahaha…

    Don’t kill person with laughter pls….
    Just like what happened in 2006 AFCON….
    When DROGBA scored and thought his has won the case not knowing that the PHARAOHS of EGYPT are lying in wait for them and their troops….
    Hahahahaha…. Ask SENEGAL in 2002 AFCON & GHANA in 2010…..

    TUNISIA (2004);;;
    ALGERIA (2019)….

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Lol! I guess the reason Abedi the so called “Pele” did not smell world cup in his career is also because himself and his mediocre team mates considered themselves to be untouchable. Hehehehehe!
    Come to think of it, why the nickname “Pele”?
    Abedi has been under the shadow of Pele throughout his career, but unlike Pele who won 3 world cups, Abedi has not set foot in a world cup stadium. So from this perspective, he has nothing in common with Pele. Yes, Abedi was good, but apparently not good enough to qualify for the world cup. He tried, and failed miserably, several times. Also, his playing style was very different from Pele. He was very direct, using his pace to beat players, and had a good left foot. Pele had a lot more skills and flair in his repertoire. So to compare Abedi and the real Pele is like comparing a wheelbarrow to a Harley Davidson.
    The reason Abedi feels the need to attract attention to himself via interviews is because he failed in his numerous attempts to get on the biggest stage of world football. This unfulfilled dream must haunt him night and day, hence the need to lash out at others he deems to be appropriate targets. The poor, frustrated man is just a local champion, and he knows it!
    If Abedi needs pointers on how to be a gentleman, he can give his country man Michael Essien a call. Now, there is an example of a true professional, sensible, who doesn’t talk anyhow to the press. I’m sure Essien will be happy to provide Abedi with the assistance he needs.

    • GLORY 2 years ago

      Hahahaha…Thumbs up @ Pompeii. Thats some proper lashing on that over hyped local champion Abedi(borrowed Pele).lolzz.

      • Pompei 2 years ago

        No be small thing. Na real “borrowed Pele”. Abi na thief em wan thief the “Pele”?
        The man no get shame? He should get out of Pele’s shadow for once and be his own man! Lol!

  • IHEME 2 years ago

    You people should stop giving us wrong information. The third place place match ended one nil in favor of Nigeria, and the scorer was Victor Ikpeba.

    • Bankole 1 year ago

      Who dey talk about that one na?
      We are giving some manners of speech in abedi borrow pelle you’re here talking another thing?

    • His life achievement and he won’t stop talking about. Typical Ghanaian.

    • Ikpeba in 1992?

  • biomorrs 11 months ago

    It was 2-1. Ekpo and yekini scored. Yekini scored the 4th goal that gave him highest scorer. Ikpeba was not even in the eagles then

  • biomorrs 11 months ago

    It was 2-1. Ekpo and yekini scored. Yekini scored the 4th goal that gave him highest scorer. Ikpeba did not score at all in that tournament

    • Tonye Oliver 10 months ago

      Abedi Pele did not say anything out of the ordinary or insulting, he only said what he thought.
      By the way, let’s not insult the man, if you followed African/European football in the 90’s u won’t call Abedi a nobody, he was one of Afica’s finest

  • Ola Femi 10 months ago

    Face your current predicament and stop talking about luckily beating Nigeria in 1992. We were the best then and definitely the best in Africa now. We never even said we were unstoppable back then