How Eagles Blew AFCON Chance

How Eagles Blew AFCON Chance

NIGERIA vs SOUTH AFRICA Yes, something did go wrong. All the Eagles needed was to beat South Africa and what Congo played in Sudan would not have mattered.

But as the match dragged on and it became obvious that South Africa were not going to roll over, journalists were on their smartphones and other devices, frantically refreshing their browsers in search of the Congo result.


At that point Nigeria needed to at least match Congo’s result. But Le Roy’s boys held on for a 2-0 win and finished the group two points ahead of Nigeria.

The long faces and bitter lamentations of Uyo fans after the match at the spanking new Akwa Ibom Stadium Complex told half the story.


It took forever for the devastated Nigerian players to leave the pitch. Keshi looked like a broken man and hid from view. Nigeria Football Federation members who must have made plans for Equatorial Guinea looked forlorn.

The champagne that was on ice at the team’s five-star Le Meridien base was ignored, the players refused interviews, Keshi and his assistants went into hiding.

A promising day of boasts and chants of anticipated victory had turned into a sad night of broken dreams and total despair.

The Eagles were left in an inconsolable state, but they had nobody to blame but themselves.

The draw was kind to Nigeria. South Africa, Congo and Sudan should not be the kind of teams to give the African champions headaches. But all of these teams took points off the Super Eagles. Two of them defeated the Super Eagles and the other one did not lose to Nigeria.

A team that could get only four points from three home games should have no complaints if they fail to qualify for a tournament. Especially, if that team is Nigeria and the home games are against South Africa, Sudan and Congo; no disrespect to these teams.

The Eagles got handed so many lifelines, but they blew them all.

NIGERIA: Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Juwon Oshaniwa, Raheem Lawal, John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike, Ike Uche
SOUTH AFRICA:Darren Keet, Anele Ngconcga, Tefu Mashamaite, Erick Mathoho, Sibusiso Khumalo, Dean Furman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Mandla Masango, Oupa Manyisa, Kermit Erasmus, Tokelo Rantie
Final score card: 8/18 Verdict: Not good enough

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  • I think Nigerians should be happy that we are not going to the afcon 2015- we will be spared the headache and heartache of the dangerous infighting in the NFF and against Mr Keshi. occasions like the afcon are the avenue stealing of funds take place. so let us have a break and restart again.

  • Marsh 7 years ago

    Very true, no wasting of money preparing of sack later against a coach still in competition. Shameless animal. Let them use this time to put their house in order. Amaju Pinnick will be so disappointed because he will not be smiling to the bank as anticipated.

  • @Marsh, it is not about Amaju Pinnick. It’s about your stupid and gather and play coach that you have supported all your life even when it was obvious that your tin god Keshi had nothing to offer. Sorry you can’t give what you don’t have. I hope Keshi will now go to those six countries who are lining up to sign him on. Good riddance….

    • @ Olu even though I think Keshi should go but it is because he has become too polarizing that his presence will distract the team. But he is only 30% precent of the problem. NFF is 60% , we missed out on 2012 AFCON the same way, Keshi was not the coach then. I don’t know how old your are but if you sincerely look back in time you will see our problem is more an administrarive problem than any other thing. We can hate Keshi all we want and he will be gone, and the problem will still be there and then we will hate the next coach. To save our football we need to pressure NFF to put its house in other

  • Naijaking 7 years ago

    NFF and LMC should work harder to make our domestic league better than it is. A better and stronger league will translate to a better and stronger National team. Pinnick should stop talking so much about sending our young players to his so called developmental leagues in Europe, him and his group should work to make Nigeria the developmental league.

    Those ex players he appointed to monitor Nigerian young players in the “developmental leagues” should advice him to pay attention to our league, work on it and make it better.

  • Stanlinks 7 years ago

    How was the NFF when the falconets brought back silver from the under 20 Women World Cup this year? Also, in what state was the NFF when Super Falcons brought back the cup from the African Women Championship? These are women. Or are women now emotionally stable than men? The question is left for you sir? Look, make una dey think before una make comment.