The Super Eagles will make a record sixth appearance at the FIFA World Cup against Croatia on Saturday, June 16, here are Nigeria’s unforgettable moments at previous editions of the tournament.
Nigeria’s unforgettable moments at the FIFA World Cup
Here is a list of unforgettable moments the Super Eagles have produced at the FIFA World Cup.
Super Eagles at the 1994 FIFA World Cup
Rashidi Yekini’s goal against Bulgaria at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the U.S.A is an unforgettable moment in the history of Nigeria at the tournament.
Nigeria’s first appearance at the tournament was special for the players and the country as a whole, Yekini’s iconic celebration after he scored holding the net while crying marked the essence of the goal which announced the country on the international stage.
Super Eagles at the 1998 FIFA World Cup
Nigeria has scored many goals at the World Cup, but few can compete with Sunday Oliseh’s sumptuous strike against Spain at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The game was tied at 2-2 until Oliseh unleashed a thunder strike into the roof of the net with 12 minutes to go.
A moment of genius from the midfield that will live in the memory of Nigerians for decades to come.
Super Eagles at the 2002 FIFA World Cup
The Super Eagles were not that ‘Super’ at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but the 0-0 draw against England was one moment Nigerians can hold onto.
The English paraded an array of stars which included David Beckham and Michael Owen to name a few.
The game ended goalless as Jay-Jay Okocha and his teammates exited the competition.
Super Eagles at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Nigeria missed out on the 2006 World Cup to Angola and expectations were high going into the 2010 FIFA World Cup on African soil.
Two key moments for Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA World Cup included Sani Kaita’s red card against Greece and Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s miss against South Korea.
Sani Kaita Red card vs Greece
Sani Kaita will probably look back on his career and wonder why he chose to kick out on Vasilis Torosidis.
Center referee for the encounter Oscar Ruiz was not in a light-hearted mood as he dismissed the Nigerian midfielder as Greece used Nigeria to set a record of the first goal and first win at the World Cup.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s miss vs South Korea
After consecutive defeats to Argentina and Greece, the Super Eagles still could qualify for the round of 16 but with a victory of South Korea.
The game an entertaining affair with goals at both ends, and Yakubu etched his name into Nigerian football history.
Put through on goal, Yakubu somehow managed to miss in a position my grandmother will find the back of the net from.
There has still been no justifiable excuse for such a blunder which will not be forgotten anytime soon by Nigerian football supporters, as the Super Eagles crashed out of the group.
Super Eagles at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Two moments at the 2014 FIFA World Cup will not be forgotten by Super Eagles supporters.
Ahmed Musa’s brace against Argentina
The Super Eagles finally gave Argentina a scary game at the 2014 World Cup, highlighted by Ahmed Musa scoring a brace which will not be forgotten soon even though Nigeria eventually lost 3-2.
Ogenyi Onazi’s injury against France
After qualifying from the group stage the Super Eagles were paired with France in the round of 16.
The French were more fancied to win the encounter but it proved to be a difficult game as Nigeria held on with Ogenyi Onazi the engine in midfield.
The game seemed on its way toe extra time until Blaise Matuidi produced a criminal tackle to take out Onazi from the game.
France eventually won the game but many Nigerians believe Onazi’s exit was responsible for the Super Eagles crashing out.