Sunday, 17 November 2013


Saturday 16th November 2013 will from now on be remembered as a historical day in the Footballing history of Nigeria, as the Super Eagles put the icing on the cake to make 2013 the most successful year in Nigeria's football  by picking up a ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Early in the year the Super Eagles lifted the African cup of Nations in South Africa, the Nigeria Under 20 winning Bronze at the African Youth tournament, the Golden Eaglet winning silver at the African under 17 cup of Nations and earlier this month the Golden Eaglet went a step higher to win the FIFA under 17 world cup for a record of four times.

After a shaky 2011/2012 footballing calendar, many followers of the beautiful game in Nigeria have written off the Super Eagles as a world power in soccer, but the Eagles under the leadership of Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has restored the feeling of pride in the heart of every Nigerian as the Eagles have gone on to soar to great heights and crowning it with a ticket to Brazil after humbling their East African opponent Ethiopia 2 - 0 at Calabar to claim a 4 - 1 aggregate victory after escaping with a 2 - 1 win in Addis Ababa a fortnight ago.
Nigeria's cruise to next year's FIFA world cup will make it a record five times for the West African nation who made their first appearance at the 1994 World cup in the United State.

The Super Eagles conceded only four goals in their eight World Cup qualifiers and they were rarely threatened in Calabar where Ethiopia struggled to make any impact on Vincent Enyeama's goal.
After Bancha pushed out an early effort from Emmanuel Emenike, whose second-half goals in Addis Ababa had turned the tide Nigeria's way, the game turned on a refereeing decision.

Gambian official Bakary Papa Gassama ruled that defender Aynalem Hailu had deliberately handled a speculative strike even though the ball ricocheted onto his arm a split-second after hitting his midriff.
Moses, who had scored two penalties against Ethiopia at this year's Nations Cup, duly netted a third as he coolly sent Bancha the wrong way.

The goal gave Nigeria a two-goal cushion, which Moses almost extended with a low drive from distance before Ideye Brown missed a better chance when heading wide from just six yards with the goal at his mercy.
Ogenyi Onazi then forced Bancha into another smart save with a well-struck effort as the first half drew to a close.
As the weather turned from bright sunshine to grey clouds, little could dampen the mood of euphoria filling the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
The lack of action prompted a surge of Mexican waves until Obinna flighted home a 25-yard free-kick which somehow deceived Bancha.
The goal killed off a tie that was already on its last legs, but Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw can reflect with satisfaction on a campaign that defied all expectations.
With the sound of the final whistle the players ran into the field to celebrate their qualification and lifted their coach Stephen Keshi up in celebration while the fans went frenzy under the heavy down pour of the rain in Calabar with the chorus "YES! YES!" roaring round the stadium as they match all the way to Brazil hoping to conquer the World.

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