Super Eagles Of Nigeria (National Team)

super-eagle-for-webFootball is not only synonymous to Religion to many Nigerians but the absolute number one sport! Success at the National team level as a player automatically earns the player superstar and hero Status.

The 1990′s was the golden era of Nigerian football as it dominated African football and gained world wide attention.To have been an integral part of this was one of the highlights of my career!

When the national teams played,especially the “Super Eaales”, in the 90’s, households remained glued to their television set, no matter what hour of  the day!.

My super Eagles adventure started in the summer of 1993 when Nigeria took on Ethiopia!

As I Stood on the legendary National Stadium in Lagos, to face Ethiopia in the final qualifier to the African Nations cup final,1994, It was clear it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a lasting impression and break into the highly sought after Senior National Team.

We won by a spectacular 6-0 and I had a blessed début outing.Thus began my national team collaboration with the best Nigerian striker of all time ,the late Rasheed Yekini!

Prior to my introduction into the fold of the Super Eagles by then Coach,Dutchman Clemence Westerhoff, the team was solid but, had either offensive minded strikers,mid-fielders and purely defensive minded defenders and needed a central defensive midfielder who could not only break up the opposition attacks but also initiate attacks.

The task to bring balance to the team as a defensive mid-fielder was what was sought after by the technical crew at the time and i was entrusted with. God so kind, my introduction into the mix brought better balance and stability to the team! The divinely blessed ability to initiate potent attacks on the ball deep from behind, creating goals earned me a regular spot in the team.

                                  THE 1994 AFRICAN NATIONS CUP CONQUEST (TUNISIA 1994)

Prior to 1994, 34 years after Independence from the British, Nigeria’s only Senior title was the 1980 African cup of Nations. After the historic qualification to it’s maiden FIFA World Cup,tagged U.S.A ’94, We attacked the conquest of the 1994 African Nations Cup in Tunisia with the team below.

super-eagles-1994-lineup-1st-eleven

 

Substitutes (Reserves)  : Stephen keshi (R.I.P),Nduka Ugbade,Alloy Agu,Efan Ekoku,Mutiu Adepoju,Wilfred Agbonavbare (R.I.P), Victor Ikpeba,Isaac Semitoje,Fuludu Edema,

Coaching Crew: Clemence Westerhoff,Bonfrere Jo,Christian Chukwu,..

 

A hyper offensive team with a solid defenceline headed by Uche Okechukwu and an attack line spearheaded by the lethal and legendary Rashidi Yekini.

With Yekini leading the onslaught, Everything went right as our attack was ever so potent and the defence line held up well. Moreso when as a debutant defensive mid-fielder, I was fortunate to deliver 5 goal scoring assists.My most precious assist, was on the final day: that assist that would allow Emmanuel Amunike score the championship winning goal versus Bwalya Kalusha’s led Zambia!

The team’s balance, strength and consistency propelled us once again to become Olympic Gold Medalists in Atlanta 1996. Moreover, Nigeria qualified for three consecutive times to the world cup end rounds in 1994, 1998, 2002 and being an active part of this was a bonus I will always thank God for!

 

FIFA World Cup 1994 (U.S.A ’94)

super-eagles-1994-world-cup-lineup

The 1994 FIFA world Cup was an Amazing experience that heralded Nigeria into the league of the World’s best Football Nations. Opening with a 3-0 victory over Bulgaria,with the now iconic goal celebration from Rashidi Yekini as he went into history,deservingly,as Nigeria’s first goal scorer in a world cup.

We lost 1-2 to a Diego Maradona led Argentine team only to come out as Group winners after the 2-0 routing of the Greek National team.

 

A second round defeat to the Italians by 1-2 ended the adventure but earned Nigeria the accolade by FIFA as the 1994 world cup’s most entertaining team.

Nigeria became ranked the 5th best Nation in the world by FIFA’s Ranking,  thanks to this form by the Super Eagles.a feat yet to be surpassed by any African Nation.

 

                                                          World Cup ’98 Story

1994 Saw us play the African Nations Cup in Tunisia and rrior to this, Nigeria had won this prestigious championship once in its then 34 years history ,when we hosted it in 1980. Everything went right as our attack line led by Rasheed Yekini was ever so potent and the defence line held up well. Moreso when as a debutant defensive mid-fielder, I was fortunate to deliver 5 goal scoring assists.My most precious assist, was on the final day: that assist that would allow Emmanuel Amunike score the championship winning goal!

The team’s balance, strength and consistency propelled us once again to become Olympic Gold Medalists in Atlanta 1996. Moreover, Nigeria qualified for three consecutive times to the world cup end rounds in 1994, 1998, 2002 and being an active part of this was a bonus I will always thank God for!

Nigeria’s first and only Senior major title dated back at the time to the 1980 african Nations Cup won on home soil as hosts.

In 1994 afer our historic qualification to our maiden world cup, the 1994 FIFA World cup in the United states of America ,we went out to try

                                                     World Cup ’98 Part 2

This was some of the quality of the team mates at the National team back then: Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi,Finidi George,Jay Jay Okocha,Uche Okechukwu,Peter Rufai,Emmanuel Amunike,Uche Okafor and Dosu Joseph amongst others. Having such great players as team mates facilitated my contributions.

 

Nigeria’s World Cup Squad 1994 (The Team Of Legends)

Players Name                       Date of Birth                CLUB
1 GK Peter Rufai                       24 Aug 1963       Go Ahead Eagles (NED)
2 DF Augustine Eguavoen        19 Aug 1965        Kortrijk (BEL)
3 DF Benedict Iroha                 29 Nov 1969         Vitesse Arnhem (NED)
4 DF Stephen Keshi                  31 Jan 1962          Molenbeek (BEL)
5 DF Uche Okechukwu            27 Sep 1967           Fenerbahce (TUR)
6 DF Chidi Nwanu                    01 Jan 1967          RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
7 FW Finidi George                  15 Apr 1971          Ajax (NED)
8 MD Oliha Thompson           04 Oct 1968         Africa Sports (CIV)
9 FW Rashidi Yekini               23 Oct 1963          Vitoria Setubal (POR)
10 MD Augustine Okocha        14 Aug 1973         Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
11 FW Emmanuel Amunike      25 Dec 1970        Zamalek (EGY)
12 MD Samson Siasia                14 Aug 1967          Nantes (FRA)
13 DF Emeka Ezeugo              16 Dec 1965             Honved (HUN)
14 FW Daniel Amokachi         30 Dec 1972            Club Brügge (BEL)
15 MD Sunday Oliseh                14 Sep 1974           RC Liege (BEL)
16 GK Alloysius Agu                 12 Jul 1967              RC Liege (BEL)
17 FW Victor Ikpeba                12 Jun 1973             AS Monaco (FRA)
18 FW Efan Ekoku                    08 Jun 1967            Norwich City (ENG)
19 DF Michael Emenalo          14 Jul 1965                 (no club)
20 FW Uche Okafor                 08 Aug 1967            Hannover 96 (GER)
21 MD Mutiu Adepoju             22 Dec 1970          Racing Santander (SPA)
22 GK Wilfred Agbonavbare       05 Oct 1966       Rayo Vallecano (SPA)

Coach: Clemens Westerhof (NED)  03 May 1940

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December 20, 2012 2:04 pm Published by

1 Comment

  • Uchenna Oyali says:

    Hey, sorry, I sent that in a rush, thought it was some info form to the admin, didn’t realise it is for comments to be published. Please do not publish that…just for your personal use.

    Uche

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