The Confederations cup may have come and gone with the host Brazil emerging as well deserved champions; I’ll just be reviewing how well the Super Eagles of Nigeria performed at the Tournament in South America.
Where do I start from…. OK… As you all know The Super Eagles are the champions of Africa and thus had the sole responsibility of flying Nigeria’s flag and also representing Africa at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Rio, Brazil.
The week(s) leading to the tournament proper saw The Super Eagles take on some countries in both friendly matches and World Cup qualifiers. A two all draw with the Mexicans in the United States of America set up things for a busy week for the Nigerians prior to the Confederations Cup, then a 0-1 victory over Kenya in far away Nairobi, Kenya in the World Cup qualifiers was certainly the positive boost Super Eagles and it’s football loving fans needed and to round everything off.
The Super Eagles were held to a Lackluster One all draw with Namibia in Windhoek. Then the trouble started, barely 4 days to the commencement of the FIFA Confederations Cup The Super Eagles went on a Mini-strike over unpaid allowances, they complained bitterly about being told by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to accept half of their $100 000 match allowances due to the Federation being terribly broke at that time.
The Super Eagles were even rumored to be planning on boycotting the FIFA Confederations Cup if their allowances were not paid in totality. Anyways all this mini-drama was sorted out by Minister of Sports in Nigeria, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and two days to the commencement of the FIFA Confederations Cup Super Eagles jetted to Brazil for the tournament.
OK… So Nigeria played their first match of the tournament against Teju Chinedu Musa Grammar school *LOOOOL* (I meant Tahiti National Team) and they were trashed silly 1-6 albeit missing trillions of goal scoring opportunities to add to the already large score line. Nnamdi Chidebere Oduamadi was the hero on the night scoring a hat trick during the match. The Ac Milan forward performance wowed Nigerians and even the Ac Milan Chief Adriano Gallani who asked the club to promote the forward the senior team after he spent the 2012/2013 season on loan at lower division club in Italy Varese.
Then Super Eagles Faced the South American Champions Uruguay in their second game of Group B and what happened, HAPPENED *ha-ha*. The Super Eagles lost 1-2 to Uruguay on the night but JOHN MIKEL OBI SCORED a GOAL, YES REPEAT AFTER ME, JOHN MIKEL OBI scored ONE OF THE BEST GOALS OF THE TOURNAMENT, after Uruguay had taken a shock lead through Captain Diego Lugano, Mikel Obi then scored a MONSTER of a goal to celebrate his 50th cap for Nigeria, Mikel scored a Messi-Esque goal after he made Uruguay defender look like a fool with an amazing and well composed dribble and a fantastic dip of the Shoulder before hitting a rocket shot into the net past Uruguay’s goalkeeper Muslera, for a player yet to score a single Premier League goal for Chelsea that’s quite an amazing feat, but Diego Forlan spoilt our little Mikel-Party by scoring a wonder goal of his own past the helpless Vincent Enyeama. For a match Nigeria dominated it was cruel to lose the match.
Bring on Spain, the World Champions and European Kings were the words all Nigerians feared and rightly so. Sunday, 23rd June 2013 was the date. Super Eagles started the game poorly and conceded an early goal scored by Barcelona’s Left-Back Jordi Alba, Nigeria held on for the whole duration of the first half and should at some point drawn level but poor finishing from the strikers let the team down, in comes Fernando Torres in the second half to score a second goal for Spain and pile more misery on The Super Eagles, and as if that wasn’t enough Jordi Alba scored a 2nd goal of his own after dribbling past Vincent Enyeama. 3-0 it ended and Super Eagles were officially out of the Confederations Cup with just 3 points from Group B.
So what have I learnt from Nigeria’s participation at the tournament?? I’ll like to point out a few
- Super Eagles need better strikers
- John Mikel Obi needs to start assisting the team in attack
- Real quality back-ups needed
- Defenders need to up their game
- Sunday Mba needs a kick on his back side
Nigeria might have been knocked out of the tournament, but the Super Eagles gave their all and I’ll rate them 6.0/10 for their performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup 🙂