Nigeria News

Super Eagles’ Golden Bronze

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Nigeria News takes a look at the performance of the Super Eagles at AFCON and its thirdplace match.

For the eighth time, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have won Bronze at the African Cup of Nation, making it the highest winner of the third-place match in the history of the biennial tournament.

The last one was won on Wednesday against Tunisia and surprisingly the Eagles and their coach, Gernot Rohr jubilated as if they had just been crowned African Champions.

To Nigerian fans, it is ridiculous that the three-time African champions could be jubilating over a Bronze.

Super Eagles played the worst of football on Wednesday night, yet won by a lone goal scored three minutes into the game by Odion Ighalo.

The Nigeria striker capitalized on the clumsiness of the Tunisia defense to slot in the fastest goal of the tournament.

The Eagles could not complete their passes. It was a poor outing
for the Tunisia side too. The North African did not come to the party on the day Nigeria paraded one of its weakest teams.

As if the thirdplace victory has become Nigeria’s property, Super Eagles hardly exhibit standard when it comes to clinching Bronze.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the AFCON since it won the cup in 2013.

Only a few people gave the young team any chance to reach the semi-final, following its below-average performance in the preliminaries.

However, victory over the defending Champion, Cameroon in the second round and a scintillating display against South Africa in the quarterfinal rekindled the hopes of football fans across the country that the Eagles could win AFCON.

But the team failed to repeat its world-class quarter-final performance in the Semis as a more organized, more tactical and determined Algeria side eliminated the West African side with a 2-1 margin.

Nigeria hardly celebrates a third-place victory but for the 2019 AFCON, it was big jubilation. Rohr and his technical crew believed they had done well after winning over 30 matches, drew five and lost 10 in all games they had prosecuted for Nigeria in the last three years.

Nigerians have been calling for Rohr’s sack for his dismal records but there is a clause in his contract that will make it difficult for the Nigeria Football Federation to fire the German tactician.

He still has one year more to handle Eagles but in case the NFF is tired of him, the Federation must be ready to pay the coach $1 million.

Rohr said that he would begin to think about his future with the Eagles after the Tunisia match. But former Super Eagles captain and striker, Chief Segun Odegbami has advised the coach to resign honourably, saying that Rohr has nothing to offer Nigeria again.

The coach has shown many lapses in his tactical approach to games, especially in the area of players substitution. He should quit now, Odegbami fumed.

Apart from the Bronze won by the Eagles, it appears the golden boot may go to a Nigeria striker, Odion Ighalo who scored five goals in the tournament.

Except that Sadio Mane of Senegal can score a hat trick in the match against Algeria on Friday, the highest goal boot will go to Ighalo.

Ighalo’s boot can only make the Super Eagles bronze look golden if he eventually wins it on Friday.

He will be equalling the record of the late Nigeria and Africa legend, Rashidi Yekini’s goals record at AFCON.

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