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Shorunmu: How I Contributed To Super Eagles Defeat To Senegal At 2002 AFCON Semi-finals 

Shorunmu: How I Contributed To Super Eagles Defeat To Senegal At 2002 AFCON Semi-finals 

Former Nigeria international Ike Shorunmu has revealed how he contributed to the Super Eagles missing out in the final of the Mali 2002 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Eagles lost 2-1 to Senegal after extra-time in a tempestuous encounter which saw three players sent off (Ifeanyi Udeze and Julius Aghahowa for the Eagles).

Shorunmu, who was in goal for the clash against Senegal, had suffered a head injury in the quarter-finals against Ghana.

With the game against the Teranga Lions tied at 1-1, a harmless strike from Salif Diao in first half extra-time bubbled past Shorunmu which turned out to be the winner.

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And reflecting on the game, Shorunmu said playing down the injury against Ghana came back to affect his performance in the semi-finals and eventually contributed to the Eagles’ loss.

“Back then, in Mali we had a lot of senior players and something happened, firstly, I was injured in our match against Ghana and I was rushed to the hospital. The Minister (Sports) then didn’t come to see me at the hospital,” he said on Brila FM’s ‘No Holds Barred’ with former Eagles teammate Ifeanyi Udeze.

“Two days after I resumed training, but a day before the semi-final against Senegal, he (Minister) came to the practice ground and spoke to me, expressing support after the injury, but our captain Sunday Oliseh, confronted him.

“The captain asked the Minister, ‘Oga, if he was your son would it have taken this long for you to come see him?’. The response left the Minister’s entourage stunned.”

“Unfortunately, we lost the semi-final to Senegal, but initially I wasn’t even meant to play that game, because of the shock from the injury I suffered.

“But due to the pressure from the Coaches, who didn’t trust our reserve goalkeepers (Murphy Akanji and Ndubuisi Ego), I was included in the team.

“At the time Finidi (George), who was my roommate, and Austin Okocha after our last training session came to me and advised me not to play the semi-final. They noticed my performance was below par and they said ‘You look petrified’. I told them I was okay but only had a slight headache.

“But the coaches were also under a lot of pressure from some top officials, who were insisting on me playing, unfortunately we lost.

“When you look at the tape again and especially at the second goal we conceded, it was my fault. The shot was feeble and I assumed the ball was going over, but really it was the fear in me that I could get hurt again which made me stall.

“We lost that game, but went into the third place game and we won that, however after that tournament; proceeding to the World Cup, the NFF announced they had disbanded the team.”

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • Obidee 4 months ago

    Na now u dey talk? Why u no talk am since that day una lost say na ur fault? Nonsense talk

     
  • Omo9ja 4 months ago

    I knew it. I knew that you wasn’t supposed to play in that match but you did

    That is one thing I don’t like about we Africans. We are very selfish but only few people doesn’t.

    You didn’t value your reputation and the image of our country and your teammates warned you before the match and you still went ahead to play in such game?

    Semi final? I’m speechless.

    “But due to the pressure from the Coaches, who didn’t trust our reserve goalkeepers (Murphy Akanji and Ndubuisi Ego), I was included in the team”.

    Why the coach took reserver goalies to a tournament and the coaches didn’t trust other keepers?

    Anything can happen in this country 9ja. Chai, out of the three goalies, only you was trusted among of the three?

    Exactly what is happening in the Super Eagles of today.

    NFF have been doing this for so long.

    “At the time Finidi (George), who was my roommate, and Austin Okocha after our last training session came to me and advised me not to play the semi-final. They noticed my performance was below par and they said ‘You look petrified’. I told them I was okay but only had a slight headache.

    “But the coaches were also under a lot of pressure from some top officials, who were insisting on me playing, unfortunately we lost”.

    Can you imagine that. You need to apologize to us.

    Nigeria, what a country lolz. It is well o Mr. Shorunmu.

    God bless Nigeria!!!

     
    • omo9ja you no just get were you day.today you go insult roha tomorrow na indigenous coach you come still they talk to .my broda you be man

       
    • Frank AN 4 months ago

      This is not the first time NFF is playing this gamble on Gks; Thank God for Rohr.. For France 98, when Ike Shorunmu got shoulder injury and it was clear he wasnt going, instead of promoting Aboidun Baruwa or Willy Okpara to first Choice, NFF went to bring back a semi retired Peter Rufai, to come and do magic.. We should understand some of the benefits of Rohr.. Now we have 3-4 capable Gks, we can rotate without reducing quality so much.

       
    • Chima E Samuels 4 months ago

      Omo9ja you always have something to say na wa for you.

       
  • Sammy 4 months ago

    This is actually a massive story if one considers that this event led to the ouster of Amodu Shuaibu, Keshi, and the rest of the coaching team that salvaged that world cup qualifying campaign after we were almost knocked out by Liberia. This event also led to the early retirement of Oliseh, Finidi, Tijani Babangida, Victor Agali, etc., as well as the inclusion of several untested semi-professionals like Victor Opabunmi and Justice Christopher on the World Cup roster by the embattled Chief Adegboye Onigbinde.

    As if to prove that every dark cloud has a silver lining, this debacle also led to the emergence of Vincent Enyeama – probably Nigeria’s most influential goalkeeper, who would go on to serve the country as first choice for the next 14 years.

     
  • pompei 4 months ago

    Indeed Sammy, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Who would have thought that a goalie in the calibre of Enyeama would emerge from that period? I recall Enyeama’s baptism of fire against England. At first, I was afraid. How would Enyeama cope against the likes of Owen, Scholes, Beckham, etc? But after a few minutes, Enyeama calmed my nerves with some confident displays. I especially recall a ferocious shot by Scholes that Enyeama saved. It was after that save that I finally relaxed. I knew I was watching Nigeria’s new numero uno. And Vincent continued to wax even stronger as the years went by.