Russia 2018 World Cup: Nigerians Hail Super Eagles for Dominating Indomitable Lions.
Nigerians have unanimously hailed their country’s senior national football team, the Super Eagles, for dominating The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in yesterday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The match ended 4-0 in favour of Nigeria.
The outcome of that match gladdened the hearts of many football fans in Nigeria, considering Cameroon’s pedigree as Africa Nations Cup current champions and as perennial rivals of Nigeria in crucial football matches. Some Nigerians still nurse bitter memories of the final match of the 2000 African Nations cup competition co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria, where Cameroon won the championship, beating Nigeria 4-3 on penalties, in Lagos. Although Victor Ikpeba’s penalty kick in that match crossed the goal line, it was disallowed by the center Referee. Otherwise, it may have tilted victory in favor of Nigeria and crowned the country with a Nations Cup title on home soil. But Cameroon went away with that crown.
Shortly after yesterday’s victory, several prominent Nigerians expressed delight through their twitter accounts. In his tweet, President Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) wrote: “Congratulations, Super Eagles, on the impressive win. We are looking forward to you sustaining the momentum in the return leg.” In another tweet, he wrote: “Football, like NYSC, is a powerful unifying platform for us as a nation. Today’s victory is for all Nigerians, at home & in the Diaspora.” President Buhari also commended the Akwa Ibom State Government “for its continued support, and for the provision of excellent hosting facilities.”
In the same vein, former President Goodluck Jonathan (@GEJonathan) wrote: “Football is a great unifier and the Super Eagles have done much to unify Nigeria by this win. I celebrate their talent. Go Super Eagles. GEJ.” Also, Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce), Senator representing Bayelsa East Constituency in the National Assembly, tweeted: “4-0. In these days of divisions in Nigeria we must thank the Super Eagles for provoking nationwide unity by this win. Proud of Super Eagles!”
Festus Keyamo (@fkeyamo), Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, wrote: “The Super Eagles continue to teach us that, aside from politics, diverse pple & tribes in Nig always love to unite to achieve common goals.”
Similarly, some retired Nigerian footballers praised yesterday’s impressive win. Kanu Nwankwo (@papilokanu), who played for the Eagles from 1994 to 2010, wrote: “Kan we do it? Yes we kan UP SUPER EAGLES well done boys and coaching crew well done NFF members and more important the supporters. Thanks.”
Mutiu Adepoju (@MutiuAdepoju8) who was popularly known as “headmaster” for scoring goals through headers when he played for the Super Eagles for 12 years, wrote: “One of my proudest moment as a Nigerian. Thanks. @NGSuperEagles. We are one leg in Russia.”
Meanwhile, it was double celebration for the Super Eagles yesterday, as William Troost Ekong, who played in the defence in the win against Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions marked his birthday. The Super Eagles‘ twitter handle (@NGSuperEagles) expressed it thus: “Double celebration in the house. Apart from the victory over Cameroon, Our ‘King Kong’ @wtroosekong is a year older today.” See picture of it and other pictures after the game, below.
It would be recalled that Odion Ighalo scored Nigeria’s first goal in that match in the 19th minute while team captain, Mikel Obi added a second goal in the 42nd minute via a corner kick deftly taken by Victor Moses who later netted the third goal in the 55th minute. Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho headed in the team’s fourth goal in the 77th minute. The Super Eagles are expected to pocket 40 thousand dollars from that victory from Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State who earlier promised to pay 10 thousand dollars for each goal scored. This prompted one Uche Ohus (@ucheohuaka) to tease: “Each goal scored the heart of governor weh promise $10k go skip, doubt if he believed super eagles could score these number of goals.”
Nigeria has garnered nine (9) maximum points from the first leg of Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers, following previous victories over Zambia and Algeria, respectively. The country would play against Cameroon on Monday next week, in a return leg match of the qualifiers. The match is scheduled for Yaounde, capital of Cameroon.
- Cornelius Ellah