For the first time since 1994, Nigerians now have a reason to smile and walk with both shoulders high. Coming from 2012 where it seemed nothing was going well for the country, the home based eagles couldn’t make the Championship Of African Nations (CHAN) Tournament, No medal won at the London Olympics, the Super Eagles didn’t quality for the African Cup of Nations, the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan almost ban the National team from all competitions.
So it was logical not to expect anything in 2013. The Nigeria Football Federation went via the path of rebuilding, appointing Stephen Keshi in 2012 to build a team to just qualify us for the 2014 world cup, but he did more than that.
Now let’s look at the top 6 Nigeria Football best moments of 2013, that Nigerians won’t forget in a hurry.
6. After winning the African Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles qualified to represent the Continent in Brazil for the 2013 Confederations Cup, and although the African Champions who had Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti in their group didn’t progress, but with a depleted squad, gave the fans at home something to cheer about, and Nnamdi Odumadi became the first Nigerian to score a hatrick in a senior FIFA tournament.
5. Nigeria for the first time qualified for the Championship Of African Nations (CHAN) Tournament after not being able two previous occasions since the inception of the tournament. This was largely thanks to the experience of the home based players who played a key role in winning the afcon 2013.
4. Blessing Okagbare’s exploits at the recently concluded International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) championship in Moscow, Russia, was widely hailed by sports enthusiasts. Nigeria last won a medal in 1999 when Gloria Alozie won silver in the women’s 100 metres hurdles, while Francis Obikwelu got the bronze in the men’s 200 metres at Seville, Spain.
Blessing won silver and bronze medals in long jump and 200 metres respectively, thus ending Nigeria’s 14-year-old medal drought in the IAAF championships.
3. Nigeria lifted their 4th under 17 world cup trophy in style. The tournament hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw the youngest ever assembled side by Nigeria go on to win the tournament without losing a match and scoring a record number of goals in the process.
2. For the first time since 1994, the super eagles of Nigeria won only their 3rd African Cup of nations trophy, beating Burkina Faso 1 – 0 in the final and beating the likes of the Ivory Coast and Mali to get there.
Before the tournament nobody gave Keshi and he’s boys any chance and he was just given a quarter-final target, but surpassed all expectations and brought the trophy home.
1. The Super Eagles qualified for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Nigeria topped their group and we’re seeded for the play off draws. The Eagles had to defeat Ethiopia over two legs to make it into world cup, and as they have done all year, they didn’t disappoint, qualifying for their 5th world cup tournament with ease.