CHAN2014: Memorable weekend signposts memorable year for Nigeria football, says Maigari
President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari posited at the weekend that memorable wins for Nigerian National Teams has signposted the making of a memorable year in the offing for the country’s game.
At the Dobsonville Stadium, Johannesburg, the U-20 Women National Team, Falconets, pipped their South African counterparts 1-0 for a 7-0 aggregate in the final African qualifying series for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, due in Canada in August.
At the Cape Town Stadium, the Super Eagles B literally rose from the dead, coming from a 0-3 deficit to draw level and eventually edge out Morocco’s Atlas Lions 4-3 in extra time, in what remains the most extraordinary match in the history of the African Nations Championship.
Maigari says the victories not only confirm South Africa as a happy hunting ground for the present NFF, but also presages what is set to be an extraordinary year for Nigeria football.
“It has been an amazing weekend, in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Falconets concluded their fixture against Basetsana (South Africa’s U-20 girls) in emphatic fashion and the Super Eagles fully underscored the ever-unyielding spirit of the Nigerian.
“It’s a long time that the football world witnessed such a dramatic comeback, with all the thrills and frills. Our U-20 boys did something like this against then USSR, in their quarter final duel at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, which people still refer to as Dammam Miracle. The Super Eagles B have given us a Cape Town Wonder and they certainly look very good for the trophy.”
Maigari will lead the Nigeria delegation to Bloemfontein on Wednesday for the semi final cracker, against the winner between Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo, which was playing out on Sunday night.
The Free State Stadium hosted the clash between the Super Eagles A and Greece at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, which Nigeria lost 1-2 after taking a first half lead.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday evening congratulated the Eagles for an amazing comeback and charged them to fly all the way to the trophy.