Former Nigeria international goalkeeper, Ndubuisi Egbo, has revealed why the Super Eagles lost the final of the AFCON 2000 to Cameroon on home soil.
After going behind 2-0, following strikes from Samuel Eto’o and Patrick Mboma, the Eagles clawed their way back into the game with goals from Raphael Chukwu and Austin Okocha.
The game went into penalties with the Cameroonians triumphing 3-2, claiming a third consecutive win against the Eagles in the final of the AFCON (1984, 1988, 2000).
Egbo, a member of the squad at the AFCON 2000 who led Tirana to the Albanian league title last season, disclosed that the Eagles were already exhausted before the start of the penalty shootout.
“We were not prepared for a penalty shootout because we came from a two-goal down to play 2-2 and we had exhausted a lot of energy and strength and the psychology was not well balanced for a penalty shootout; and in the end we lost,” Egbo said in an interview with PUNCH Online TV sports programme, Kick and Follow.
Egbo also revealed that Nwankwo Kanu never wanted to take a penalty in the shootout.
During the shootout, Kanu who took the Eagles’ third kick saw his effort saved by Boukar Alioum, the Cameroon goalkeeper.
He added:”I have the memory of what happened in the final against Cameroon like a video in my head. I remember Victor Ikpeba scored the penalty but put his hands on his head and the referee (Mourad Daami) counted it that it was a lost goal.
“But before then, when we were in the camp during training sessions, I always saved Kanu’s penalties and when it was time to play penalties and (coach) Jo Bonefere was writing the names of penalty takers, Kanu said he was not going to play, but the coach said he was one of the best and he had to play.
“He (Kanu) came to me and said I know that I always saved his penalties. I tried to motivate him and told him to try and kick the ball very hard to the side. ‘Just remove the thought that you lose penalties during training sessions.’ This is because it may affect his psychology and that he may lose.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.