My football knowledge started with Nigeria’s exploit in Africa (1994), the world cup (94) and the Olympics (96). I had grown with any football game that has a Nigerian tag on it. The age grade competition and female competition have consistently given Nigerians joy but the Senior team has been a major concern.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria played their 3rd AFCON 2015 qualifiers away to Sudan but came home with no points thanks to a 1-0 loss. The Super Eagles are now rock bottom of the group with a single point. The chances of qualifying is very slim. Nigeria will need to win all of the remaining 3 games to stand a chance of being in Morocco.
It is saddening that Nigeria have gone wingless and have managed just one victory in their last 12 games, losing 5 and drawing 6. The 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Worldcup was the last win. Keshi’s reign has taken a twist and all his initial success has been splashed with this recent failure spiced with his contract issues with the NFF. A return leg win against Sudan will be a better way to go for the Eagles.
While the male team continue to suffer defeat in the hands of minnows, the female team started their African Women Championship on a flying note. The Falcons defeated Cote D’Ivoire 4-2 with Desire Oparanozie grabbing a brace. The Falcons will hope to regain their lost trophy.
In Europe, some unexpected result made neutrals like me excited. Diego Costa continued his Spanish curse as the former world champions were beaten 2-1 by Slovakia. Germany also got their 1st qualifying defeat in years as Poland beat the Worldcup winners 2-0 with Szczesny grabbing the Man of the match award keeping the Poles ahead.
In England, Welbeck continued his international form as he grabbed a goal before being subbed as England beat San Marino 5-0. Chamberlain got two assists with Wilshere effecting the game positively.
The first half of the international break broke the hearts of the Gunners after news that Ozil will be out for about 12 weeks. The gunners have been severly hit by injury. It is now becoming a norm, sadly. Just when you think that Walcott will return to benefit from Ozil, the German goes out on injury. The gods of injury have been unfair.
The Nigeria Premier League continued over the weekend with week 32 games played across the nation.
Gombe United 2-1 Enyimba
Bayelsa United 1-2 Warri Wolves
Sharks 1-0 Kano Pillars
Kaduna United 0-0 El-Kanemi Warriors
Crown FC 1-1 Giwa FC
FC Taraba 2-0 Dolphins
Heartland 3-0 Sunshine Stars
Nasarawa United 3-2 Nembe City
Lobi Stars 2-0 Rangers
Akwa United 0-0 Abia Warriors
The 1st half of the break have been mixed for me: Roger Federer’s Shanghai win, Hamilton’s Sochi win, Bendtner’s assist, Iceland victory and Nigeria’s defeat.