BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Besides Cameroon, though in tragic circumstances getting to the final of FIFA Confederations Cup, African teams may not have made great impact, yet they find themselves in the competition’s record books.
Sports Village Square had earlier reported that until last Saturday when Russia beat New Zealand 2-0, Nigeria’s late Amodu Shaibu was the youngest coach at 36 years and 263 days to have guided a team at the competition.
New Zealand’s Anthony Hudson at 36 years and 96 days has now rested the record in the 0-2 loss to Russia on Saturday.
But if it is considered that Nigeria won its opening match of the 1995 competition when Super Eagles beat Japan 3-0, Amodu then remains the youngest coach to have won a FIFA Confederation match!
Sports Village Square recalls Nigeria’s Nnamdi Oduamadi becoming the first African to score a hat trick when the Super Eagles beat Tahiti 6-1 at the Brazil 2013 edition in Belo Horizonte. It could also be added that a match involving Nigeria also featured the oldest scorer in Confederations Cup.
When on June 20, 2013 Nigeria lost 1-2 to Uruguay in Salvador, Brazil, Uruguay’s Diego at age 34 years and 32 days beat the record of oldest scorer in the competition by just four day after Italy’s Andrea Pirlo had earlier set the record.
Both Pirlo and Forlan were born on the same date, but Forlan scoring four days after Pirlo’s gave him the edge. Coincidentally, it was also Forlan’s 100th match.
There are still more African influences in the Confederations Cup. When on this day, June 18 in 2005, Tunisia took on Germany, Tunisia’s goalkeeper; Ali Boumnijel became the oldest player in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup. He was 39 years and two months.
On this same day eight years ago, the match involving Egypt became the 100th match in the history of the FIFA Confederation Cup. Egypt won the milestone match, 1-0 against Italy thereby becoming the first African team to defeat Italy (the second team to do so were Côte d’Ivoire in 2010).