BY BOLAJI OKUNOLA.
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)