The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup came to an end last night with Germany emerging champions for the first time in their history. They became the third European side to win the trophy after Denmark and France. The Machines capitalized on a defensive error as they saw off Chile 1-0 with a goal in the 20th minute.
Chile huffed and puffed before and after that mistake but there was no goal to show for their effort. They would rue all the chances they missed before that 20th minute and would also thank their stars for not finishing with 10 men after Jara’s deliberate elbow on Werner in the second half.
The excitement in the air is not that Germany won the Confederations Cup but that they did so with a “Team B”. The “big” players had their summer off while the next generation took on the world in the tournament. They went unbeaten and put up a wonderful display. It shows a great footballing culture the Germans have cultivated. You could see that they have their future secured as Julian Draxler – captain of the team – lifted the trophy to the heavens.
And Joachim Low, what a coach. Apart from Julian Draxler, Mustafi and Joshua Kimmich, I didn’t know any of the German team that held the world to awe. The aforementioned play for PSG, Arsenal and Bayern Munich respectively. The youthful side would be very happy that they have made their nation proud.
Enter: Nigeria. Different. Everything is different. I look for the transition but it is nowhere to be found. Only a few try to make the grade. Our first team is in shambles and we have no first team. Do we have a project – like Project 2022 or 2026? Bedeviled by endless corruption deep down the nations fabric, it is difficult to enjoy football to the fullest. Falsification of age, poor player welfare and zero infrastructure would extinguish any hope of a project. Poor Eagles.
It went south for Rivers United on Sunday. They failed to defeat Club Africain in Port Harcourt and most excruciatingly – they lost 2-0. The Pride of Rivers needed to secure three points to stand a chance of qualifying to the quarter finals of the CAF Confederation Cup but they couldn’t even test the visiting goalie. They replicated the performance of the Super Eagles against South Africa in Uyo. With a game left against FUR Rabat in Morocco, Stanley Eguma can field his “Team B”. They may do a “Germany” for him.
The NPFL continued over the weekend as 9 matches were played on Matchday 27. It was all home wins except the match in Lafia where Gombe United stunned host Nasarawa United with an equalizer. Plateau United thought they had gotten a point from Maiduguri but a 95th minute goal from Sunday Anthony gave El-Kanemi Warriors all three points.
In the chase for continental spots, Akwa United saw off Enyimba 1-0 while MFM FC were 2-1 winners over ABS FC in Agege. Lobi Stars were 3-1 winners over Rangers FC while FC IfeanyiUbah defeated Katsina United 2-0. At the bottom of the table, Shooting Stars gave hopes to their survival battle with a 2-0 win over Wikki Tourists while Sunshine Stars were 1-0 winners over Abia Warriors in Ijebu Ode.
While we wait to get to Germany’s level, let us sing along:
Football is Germany
Joachim Low is the best
Forget how the music is played. Just know that Football is Germany. Congratulations to Mustafi. Take heart Sanchez. Stay. Germany recently won the Euro U21.
Oh, and Lacazette is coming.
Happy Monday to you.