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Nigerian Football

Super Eagles Remain African’s FIFA Confederations Cup Goal Kings




Even though Nigeria did not qualify for the just concluded FIFA Confederations Cup which the World Cup holders, Germany won as Coach Joachim Low took the team to a glorifying 152 outings and 102 wins, the competition still harbours for the Super Eagles, fond eternal memories.
With just two participations in 1995 in Saudi Arabia and 2013 in Brazil, the Super Eagles remain the African team with the highest number of goals in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Despite the Super Eagles being absentees in the ongoing FIFA Confederation Cup in Russia, investigation by Sports Village Square reveals that the Super Eagles of Nigeria remains Africa goal king of the competition of Champion.
The Super Eagles scored 11 goals spread over two competitions and six matches. But the African team with best performance remains Nigeria’s next competitive opponent, Cameroon which played the final match of the 2003 competition but lost to hosts, France.
Russia 2017 was Cameroon’s third outing. Cumulatively, the current African champions have scored seven goals spread across nine matches in 2001, 2003 and 2017.
Apart from goal scoring, Nigeria made other marks in the Confederations Cup. Until the 2017 opening match which paired hosts, Russia, with New Zealand, Nigeria’s former national coach, the late Amodu Shaibu was the youngest coach to lead a team to the ‘Festival of Champions’. Sports Village Square reveals that the late Nigerian coach was 36 years and 263 days old when he led the Super Eagles to beat Japan 3-0 on January 6, 1995.
That record held until June 17 this year when Anthony Hudson led New Zealand to face Russia. He was 36 years and 96 days old. But since Hudson’s team lost the encounter with Russia, Nigeria’s Amodu therefore remains the youngest coach to have led a team to win a FIFA Confederations Cup match.
Nigeria’s Nnamdi Oduamadi remains the only African player to have scored a hat-trick in a FIFA Confederations Cup match. He achieved his feat four years ago when Nigeria beat Tahiti 6-1 which also remains the highest victory margin an African side achieved at the competition.

Breakdown of Goals by African teams runs thus:

• Russia 2017 ( Cameroon 2 goals)
• Brazil 2013 (Nigeria 7 goals)
• South Africa 2009 (South Africa 4 goals)
• South Africa 2009 (Egypt 4 goals)
• France 2003 (Cameroon 3 goals)
• Korea/Japan 2001 (Cameroon 2 goals)
• Mexico 99 (Egypt 5 goals)
• Saudi Arabia 1997 (South Africa 5 goals)
• Saudi Arabia 1995 (Nigeria 4 goals)
• Saudi Arabia 1992 ( Cote d’Ivoire 2 goals)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Manu Garba, U17 World Cup winner, returns as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach



The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

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Nigerian Football

Kano Pillars on  the verge of relegation again?




As the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) 2023/2024 season enters the home stretch, Kano Pillars find themselves in a precarious situation, despite being in the 8th on the league table.

They have 41 points in a close-packed league in which no situation below the top eight can be regarded as safe now.

On the surface, the eighth position occupied by Kano Pillars might seem a decent position, but beneath lies a series of crises that is threatening the club’s stability.

Kano Pillars, a team deeply entrenched in the hearts of the people of Kano, holds a unique status in Nigerian football. Yet, recent events have cast doubts on their future in the league.


Despite a promising start to the season where they occupied the third position, the team has encountered a harsh reality check.

For the first time in its history since establishment in 1990, Kano Pillars faced back-to-back home losses in a single season, a stunning defeat against Abia Warriors followed by a recent upset against Shooting Stars of Ibadan on Monday, 8th April, 2024.

These losses, coupled with a humiliating 5-0 defeat by Enyimba, paint a troubling picture.

While some attribute these setbacks to the challenges of Ramadan fasting affecting the players, others argue that this explanation falls short because the team has been playing in this situation for many years.

Why now?. The root of Pillars’ problems lies deeper, starting from the inability to secure key signings and a lack of strong financial backing.


Recruitment primarily from local talent pools received mixed reactions.

While some praised the emphasis on nurturing grassroots talent, others feared the consequences of inexperience, a concern that seems to be materializing now.

Moreover, the team’s financial woes, compounded by fines imposed due to fan misconduct, further exacerbate the situation.

Similarly, some close government allies and individuals are forcing the technical crew to recruit their players irrespective of whether they are competent or not, a development that has angered many fans of the club.

Many players seem motivated solely by personal career advancement rather than team success, raising questions about commitment and morale.


Additionally, scheduling matches during Ramadan, though a long standing practice, has never before yielded such dismal results.

With relegation looming just eight points away, urgent action is imperative.

The government, alongside club officials, must step in decisively to address these issues. Ignoring the plight of Kano Pillars risks tarnishing the state’s football legacy irreparably.

In conclusion, Kano Pillars stand at a critical juncture. Without swift intervention and a concerted effort to rectify underlying problems, the club faces the grim prospect of relegation once again.

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Nigerian Football

Shooting Stars rally from behind to clinch a rare victory in Kano



Shooting Stars continue to press for the top three slot in the Nigeria Premier League as they clinched a rare 2-1  victory in Kano on Monday evening.

Before now, they have always been battered with basketful of goals in their away duels with Kano Pillars.

In some instances, the score lines were as wide as 6-0. But on Monday, Shooting Stars continued their chase of the frontrunners. It initially looked a continuation of the past when in the opening two minutes, Shooting Stars were already a goal down.

Rabiu Ali shot the hosts ahead and held on till half time. Three minutes into the second half, Taiye Murtala levelled up for Shooting Stars before serial scorer, Christian Pyagbara scored the winner in the fourth minute of the added time.

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