Over 160 million Nigerians around the globe were treated to a rare sight on Sunday night as their beloved Super Eagles lifted the 29th African Cup of Nations held in South Africa 2013. The streets of Lagos were crowded with fans aloof with joy, the boulevards of Abuja could epitome the merriment, the docks of Port Harcourt, the Sahel of the North, the Forest in the South rejoiced for this great feat.
The journey to this quest started with a 1-1 draw with the stallions of Burkina Faso. power striker, Emenike put the super eagles ahead but a late equalizer from their West African counterpart shared the spoils. The tame shooting copper bullets of Zambia were the next hurdle as a late dubious penalty salvaged a point for the side that had the BBC footballer of 2012 on their side. Russian based Emenike had put the eagles ahead.
Victor Moses’ double against returning Ethiopia welcomed the mouth watery clash with the elephants of Cote D’Ivoire. the pundits wrote the eagles off; they were labeled “Super Chickens” but the Eagles said “MBA” Emenike had powered a free kick in before Tiote canceled after the break with a free header. Warri wolves striker, Sunday Mba Shalom-ed his way through the orange-shirted defense before his deflected shot went past Barry.
the Super Eagles were Mali-cious with goal scoring as they sent Mali to the Soweto cleaners but lost Emenike to a muscle tear in the semis. Echiejile, Ideye, Emenike and Musa were the goal scorers. the game ended 4-1
Sunday Mba vindicated the inclusion of 6 home based players by Stephen keshi as his 40th minute strike was all the Nigerians needed to defeat the burkinababe. several chances went begging but who cares?
So, behold the champions of Africa: the agile Enyeama, the Solid Obabuona, Rocky Emeruo, drivy Ambrose, wingy Echiejile, Captain Yobo, debutante Oshaniwa, tidy Mikel, Big Ogude, tenacious Onazi, ambitious Mba, skillful Moses, dexterous Ideye, Pacy Musa, just Uche, and Power Emenike. we might have not watched the hard fighting Okonkwo, flying Ejide, gritty Apam and Mobile Igiebor et al.
kudos must be given to the big boss Stephen Keshi for becoming the first Nigerian and 2nd African to win the AFCON as a coach and player. He won the trophy as a captain in Tunis 1994. he has guided this unknown team to folklore and heroism. can he be the next president?
Emmanuel Emenike won the Golden boot with 4 goals and 2 assists. his presence was missed at the finals. he sure would have added to his tally if he was featured. Victor Moses went home with the Fair Play Award while 5 of the super eagles made the CAF eleven: Emenike, Enyeama, Ambrose, Mikel and Moses.
In other AFCON matters, Jonathan Pitriopa of Burkina Faso won the MVP award of the tournament while Mali defeated Ghana 3-1 to take home bronze.
so, hail the champions, pop the champagne and celebrate because the Super Eagles are soaring. see us in the confed cup in Brazil.