Rebuilt Super Eagles Soar From Tournament Underdogs To Topdogs

Super Eagles
By SR Sports

The story of the Super Eagles’ incredible show of character and strength against an Ivorian team rated as the best in the continent and among the best in the world shall be fully told one day. For now, we can only tell a part of it.

Did the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire walk into a sucker punch? Before Sunday’s Cup of Nations quarter final match at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, the Eagles were a lowly 52nd on the Fifa ranking while the Elephants were high up there in 14th.

The Ivorian team is fully matured and seasoned, with thoroughbred gladiators and warriors who take no hostages. They were the only team at the championship that guaranteed quarter finals ticket for itself after collecting maximum points in their first two matches.

In contrast, Nigeria is re-building, and following 1-1 draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia, and 78 minutes of a drab, scoreless tie with Ethiopia, looked to be on the way out of the tournament. Victor Moss rescued that situation by winning and converting two penalty kicks within the last 10 minutes and the Eagles limped into the last eight behind Burkina Faso.

On Sunday afternoon, NFF President Aminu Maigari and Chairman of Technical Committee Chris Green met players and officials of the Super Eagles at lunch in their Hunters’ Rest nest. Maigari told the players that they could do it, that the match was the final before final and that President Goodluck Jonathan, insisted that he wanted to come for the Final match, on the condition that the Super Eagles get there.

Skipper Joseph Yobo responded by saying that the boys were battle-ready. “We are ready for this match. We all realize it’s a massive game and test of character and we will go in there to do Nigeria proud.”

At the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, the majority of the 25,000 crowd rooted for the Ivorians. To some, it was a mis-match. But when the game started and the Eagles took the match to their more fancied opponents, the voices of Nigerian supporters became louder.

A titanic match it was, comparable to some of the best matches that the Cup of Nations has seen in its 56 years. There was no time during the game that anyone could say for sure which team would win. Emmanuel Emenike’s thunderbolt from a short free-kick in the closing stages of the first half was almost cancelled out immediately from another free-kick at the restart. Before those, Emenike had blown over a good pass on the edge of the box by Ideye, and Didier Drogba came close after controlling a pull-out in the box.

Victor Moses stung goalkeeper Boubacar Barry’s hands with a rasping shot and Yaya Toure, in the second half, got into his no-miss position only to see Enyeama parry the ball away.

And who could have guessed that the winner would come from home-boy Sunday Mba, who ran the length of the Ivorian half of the field before cracking a shot that Souleman Bamba deflected high above Barry into the net?

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, said: “I am very happy because the analysts gave the match to the Ivorians even before a ball was kicked. But I knew that we could do it and I told the boys that 170 million Nigerians were banking on them to make them happy.

“Now, we have to try very hard to put this behind us and concentrate on the semi-final with Mali in Durban on Wednesday. We don’t have too many hours to celebrate and linger over this win before that game.”

NFF Executive Committee member Shehu Adamu added: “Certainly, the Eagles have delivered. Everyone knows that we’re re-building, but for them to have shown this much character and triumph over this fantastic bunch of Elephants shows that we now have a team that will always make us proud.”
Victory over the Elephants means that Nigeria has lost only ONE of NINE Cup of Nations quarter final matches since the quarter final round came with the installment of 12-team finals in 1992.

The Eagles defeated Zaire (now DR Congo) at that stage in 1992 and 1994, edged Senegal in 2000, pipped Ghana in 2002, overpowered Cameroon in 2004, eliminated Tunisia on penalties in 2006, skipped past Zambia in a similar manner in 2010 and on Sunday, edged Cote d’Ivoire. The only loss at that stage was to host Ghana in 2008.

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Akpo u re fool and imbecile

No One Is Indispensable!

At the beginning of the nations cup not many Nigerians believed in Keshi and his boys because of what transpired between him and some of the "Big Boys" in Super Eagles that led to the dropping of Osaze and others.Not many have it in mind that this team will get to the final but as providence will have it here they are.The moral lesson here is that no one is indispensable and that out of nothing God can brig out Something.
Up Super Eagles!

One Nigeria.... a very proud Ibo, I'm happy to write that 90% of my close friends are Yoruba and very few Hausa. For this great country to achieve her potential and if history has taught us any lesson, we need to forget our differences and be united as one. Viva Nigeria, viva Nigerians!!!

@Nduka - Wat abt ahmed musa? U r an

Men, you have to carry out a DNA test on Musa to confirm he is actually from a Northern parent. At least we all know that 47% of the kids in the North are illegitimately fathered by Southerners.

Yet again, it was the same story for the Golden Eaglets in 1985

What will continent Nigeria do without the gifted United SS&SE peoples. We feed the continent & provide pocket money for all its Oliver Twist countries of the Boko haram North & loud mounted cowardly West. See team list. SS&SE all the way.

United Republic of the SS&SE
2. Tenworimi DUERE
3. Nduka UGBADE
4. Binabei NUMA
6. Jonathan AKPOBORIE
7. Victor IGBINOBA
8. Billa MOMOH
10. Chukwuma NWOHA
11. Hilary ADIKI
12. Baudwin BAZUAYE

Oduduwa Republic
3. Fatai ATERE

Arewa /Boko Haram Republic
1. Salisu NAKADE
2. Sani ADAMU
3. Mohamed YAHAYA

who was d chairman of d nfa

who was d chairman of d nfa then? and also who was the sec. gen of d nfa then? it may interest u to know that dan amokachi is from d north. he was born bred and buttered in kaduna.

Akpos1 is about 90% correct

The talent axis in almost everything in Nigeria is the SS&SE zones. It is not just football. Politically, if anyone is to fix and redeem Nigeria, and maintain her honour, it is from this axis of the SS&SE country.

That is why the new constitutional and political leadership rotational arrangement in order of compatibility that will save Nigeria effect from 2015 is as follow;

-2015-2023, the Greater South East (South South and South East Zones)
-2023-2031, the Middle Belt (Current North Central Zone)
-2031-2039, the South West Zone
-2039-2047, the North (Current North West and North East)

As the North has proven it worthless rule for 37.5years since independence and with its now boko, the area will not be ready to provide a leader for the country until 2039 when every formidable reform and structure is put in place which no primitive. etc. leader will able to subvert.

Please discount President Jonathan that came by error and of Obsanjo to rubbish the SS&SE axis.

Same story at Atlanta in 1996. United SS&SE all the way.Blessed!

Is any one still in doubt regarding the United SS&SE being the engine room & driver of continent Nigeria at all fronts? Again, see the Atlanta Gold winning team list of 1996.

United Republic of SS&SE
1. Daniel Amokachi
2. Emmanuel Amuneke
3. Victor Ikpeba
4. Nwankwo Kanu
5. Kingsley Obiekwu
6. Uche Okechukwu
7. Jay-Jay Okocha
8. Sunday Oliseh
9. Mobi Oparaku
10. Taribo West
11. Wilson Oruma
12. Celestine Babayaro (With Ibo parents)
13. Emmanuel Babayaro (With Ibo parents)

Oduduwa Republic
1. Teslim Fatusi
2. Dosu Joseph
3. Abiodun Obafemi

Arewa /Boko Haram Republic
1. Tijjani Babangida
2. Garba Lawal,

Wat abt ahmed musa? U r an

Wat abt ahmed musa? U r an idiot. May ur mouth tear 2 ur ears.

Re-built super eagles, From under to top dogs

Nigerian sport officials will never learn to mind their business. They keep poking their noses where they should not, an official with little or no technical know-how suddenly turns into the coach, psycho, physio, trainer, manager or even player all-in-one just because of relevance. You think Jonathan is not watching??? He knows when you are yacking and knows when you are relevant,we must leave our team alone to avoid unnecessary distractions. Some of you officials blowing your trumps now have forgotten so soon how you faulted the non-inclusion of some lily-levered, busy-but-doing-nothing, over-paid and over-bloated players, thank God that Keshi is no push-over, he did what Siasia aimed at but failed to achieve, called the bluff of you all....Just KEEP QUIET!!!

@wahala Keshi don't need your praises...


How did you suddenly become the one to talk about Keshi's performance. Don't you want oyibo coach again. This report is sentimental but you have no morals to correct it. Just keep your advice to yourself for Keshi don't needs it. Stick to your words of Keshi being a disgrace and a foreign coach is imminent. Shame!

Just wanna digress from the

Just wanna digress from the usual regional squad debate...has anyone noticed the last time a homebased player scored for the Super Eagles was way back in 1992? 21 flipping years ago!!!! about time we carry out a root & branch overhaul. No more foreign based players.

Akpos1 you are utterly useless!

Akpos1 you are utterly useless! In your hate for both the S/West and North you "ignorantly" forgot Mutiu Adepoju who scored several important World cup goals at bot the 94 and 98 World cups against Argentina and Spain. Even you conveniently delisted Garuba Lawal who scored the winning goal against Spain at France 1998.
You are a hate monger. Nigeria is one irrespective of who is selected to play for Nigeria. We in the SS are not part of your Ibo hate. Go Nigeria, Go Super Eagles!

Senseless Sport Reporter

So it's Aminu Maigari and Shehu Adamu that pep-talked the Eagles into the Semis abi? Instead of this reporter to try and get the reactions of players/coaches who actually "did the work", he credits the NFF for the team's success. Igboman dey work, Aboki dey take credit. Na dia way! Which teams did Aminu Maigari and Shehu Adamu play football for ...if at all? The same perpetual Naija problem, wrong pegs in wrong holes. Abokis have their arid fingers in everything, doing nothing right, yet, insisting on doing everything wrong. Nigeria yamutu!

All credit for absolving heavy criticism and still holding the team together to produce this rare moment of joy for Nigerians goes to STEVEN KESHI and his coaching staff. Not to any Alhaji or Iman, just Keshi ...Steven Keshi!

@ Super Eagles : RESPECT !!!

Akpos1 you are utterly useless!

Why do Sahara reporters allow idiots like Akpos1 to spill their garbage of hate in this forum. Akpos is supposed to be an Urhobo name but this guy is an Ibo hiding under this name. In any case Nigeria is one when it comes to football; people like you spreading hate among the tribes would have you self to blame when the chips are down. We are enjoying the football and we don't care who is selected to play for Nigeria. And pls be warned that there is nothing like "republic of SE & SS" I am from the South South and we never want Ibos to be part of us, if Nigeria is to break. so stop your delusion. Remember how we denied you in your Biafra war!

On this Yellow Journalism

OH! sahara reporters, you did not find it noteworthy to at least make mention of the coach!!!! Very sad.

Don't be a buffoon!

Cross-check ur facts, comical Akpos b4 u make a buffoon of urself. Daniel "the bull Amokachi is actually 4rm Benue State, North Central, Nigeria. Is ur knowledge of geography so vague or r u jst an imbecile? Stop spewing hatred & divisive comments on dis medium. Thanks.

What do the West & North contribute really? What? How?

With the Female football teams at all levels, the story is perfectly the same...What will SS&SE not do for continent Nigeria? Below is the Korea U20 Female team list for Continent Nigeria. Most of the few frm Oduduwa republic were actually warming up the bench throughout.

United Republic of the SS&SE
1. Gloria OFOEGBU
2. Ugo NJOKU
3. Cecilia NKU
4. Esther SUNDAY
6. Ngozi OKOBI
7. Josephine CHUKWUNONYE
8. Francisca ORDEGA
9. Charity ADULE
10. Chioma NWANKWO
11. Blessing EDOHO
12. Jennifer OSAWARU
13. Ebere ORJI
14. Winifred EYEBHORIA
15. Osarenoma IGBINOVIA
16. Chidinma OKORO
17. (Coach ) Okon EDWIN

Oduduwa Republic
1. Asisat OSHOALA
2. Damilola AKANO
3. Abosede OLUKAYODE
4. Fasilat ADEYEMO

Boko Haram/Beggars /Arewa Republic
Nil (Zero representation) (North)

@Akpos1 - Your analysis is true

My brother, you are very very correct. Somehow, it appears that the SE&SE of Nigeria contributes everything or probably 'too much' while it can be said of all other regions- North & West, that they contribute nothing or probably 'too little'.

In real economic & monetary terms, the South South/East has no match as it is today, has been since 1957 & perhaps will be if the country survives.

This dominant contribution is perhaps the reason for the latent fear of the West & North that power should not be in the hands of a people so blessed & endowed. The same reason that the West and/or North easily reminds the East & South South that they are not compatible. But one wonders why it should be the job of the West to preach incompatibility of the SS&SE. Why? If not the fear of the alliance of the SS&SE which is has become inevitable anyway.
Great South South & East!!!

What a jaundiced report

What a report? Typically Sahareporters yellow journalism. A team performed heroically and no mention was even made of the coach, instead it was the NFF chairman said this, NFF chairman said that. So we should now agree that it was the NFF chairman's pep talk that did the magic with no contribution from the coach? Keshi is still suffering from the Biafran stigma even when I am sure he will never agree that he is an Igboman. Keshi sorry oo, next time make sure to include at least one shon of the shoil in your team or we will never recognize you even if you win the cup.

As it was in 1994, The United Republc of SS&SE will win d trophy

Continent Nigeria has been having poor performances bcos of politics that deprives the natural players of SS&SE extraction from taking over the it was in 1994 with the SS&SE team, so shall it be with the current SS&SE team of 2013. See 1994 list below:

United Republic of the SS&SE
1. Thompson Oliha
2. Chidi Nwanu
3. Uche okafor
4. Emeka Ezugo
5. Michael Emenalo
6. Samson Siasia
7. Stephen Keshi
8. Victor Ikpeaba
9. E. Amuneke
10. Efan Ekoku
11. Uche Okechukwu
12. Sunday Oliseh
13. Austin Okocha
14. Austin Eguavoen
15. Daniel Amokachi
16. Ben Iroha
17. Finidi George

Oduduwa Republic
1. Reuben Agboola
2. Rashidi Yekini
3. Peter Rufai

Boko Haram/Beggars /Arewa Republic
Nil (Zero representation) (North)

why eagles did well against the Ivorians

A team must be motivated to play well. In 1998 during the world cup, eagles started well beating Spain only to lose tl Holland and Norway because their allowance was not paid.Unlike this year in South Africa, they were paid $30,000.00 each which is moral boosting. If they have been using their own money to pay for their lodgings, Icould not have seen them going past Ivory Coast.

we rule!

kudos to the eagles.....they made us proud
i hope they will go all the way to lift the trophy with this winning mentality....
Soar eagles, thanks keshi.....please bring the trophy home:-)

There are no shortage of better players in Nigeria but

The problem in our national football is the non selection of the right players.

Pressure and interference by NFF officials, even from the Government, for the Coach to select the players from their parts of the country or those that have bribed them, whether they are good or not have being the problems in our recent years national football. This is compounded by the NFF officials who take money for CAT and FIFA officially fixed matches for the Super Eagles to lose or draw and careless about Nigeria honour.

It takes a tough Coach to brush the NFF officials aside and select the right players. That is what Keshi has been trying to do and did for the game against Ivory Coast after he had identified the major weak links in the previous matches. These weak links are Defence- Yobo; Midfield- Ogude and Igiebor; Forward- Uche.

Remove corruption, regionalism and tribalism by the NFF officials from our football, we will always do well in any international tournament.

Do not look down on any one

If you hold onto the pass, you get no where. Gentle men, you have done well. Forgetting those things behind, please press on towards the goal for the prize. We are praying for you. You have our support. Please represent us well out there. With God all things are possible. Good luck and God be with you.

By Taking Nigeriastan Out of the Equation !!!

The boys performed well because there was no element of Nigeriastan like Kaita, Abubakar, and Mohammed in the field. Excluding them from the country will see Nigeria excel.



@bangbade! you must be sick in the head...



You must really be sick in the head to have compared this present eagles to the one we have had over the years, probably over ten years or thereabout. How dare you compare a team selected from players who worked hard and merited a jersey to that of the past that was made up of Hausa-fulanis. Mention me just one good mohammedan athletes in the globe. See, you can't compare athletism, sportsmanship and soccer to the making and disposing of local bombs. The former is what the current squad represents whilst the latter was what the previous eagles team stood for. You wonder why we have had silverware drought over the years. Wonder know more. Fool!

All the louds mouths are beginning to swallow their words...

Prior to the CoteDeIvoire game some louds mouthed fools were all over SR and various naija dallies castigating Keshi of being tribalistic. They said his team was made up of only SE&SS citizens and some were already calling for his sack. They were eagerly waiting to have Keshi's head for breakast, lunch and dinner if the Elephants had won. But little did they know that the vibrants players of SE&SS region were battle ready and will triumph over the Ivorians. They have all turn their coats now. Please hold your praises to yourselves. The indomitable and industrious players of super 'Biafra' eagles will bring the AFCON home with or without your pancake praises. Naijas are shameless like seriously. Imagine them now praising Keshi and his team. Chameleons!. May your words choke the throats of you lots that never believed in Keshi's abilities. Idiots!


Enough of the chest beating guys, we have work to do!

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