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Complete Football Edition 1

  • Text
  • Nigeria
  • Medal
  • August
  • Nigerian
  • Brazil
  • Atlanta
  • Olympic
  • Olympics
  • African
  • Eagles

Nigeria's score card at

Nigeria's score card at the Olympics ATHENS 2004 NIGERIA was once again missing from the football event after failing to beat Tunisia in the final qualifying round. Without Nigeria and Cameroun, winners of the previous two editions, Africa was represented by Ghana, Mali, Tunisia and Morocco. Of the lot, only Mali advanced from the group stages but they were eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing 1-0 to Italy to end Africa's hope of a third straight winners' medal. BEIJING 2008 finals, equaling Egypt's record set at the 1964 event in Tokyo. However, while the Egyptians lost their thirdplace classification match 3-1 to East Germany, the Ghanaians went one better and defeated Australia 1-0 to claim bronze, Africa's first medal in the event. ATLANTA 1996 AFRICA'S finest hour finally arrived in the United States of America when the Nigerian lads mounted the rostrum at the Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia on August 3, 1996 to collect the continent's first ever gold medal in the football event in the 100 years history of the Olympics. The U-23 team, now christened 'Dream Team' by the local media, kicked off their campaign with a nottoo impressive 1-0 win over Hungary before beating Japan 2-0. A 1-0 loss to Brazil ensured the Nigerians finished second to set up a quarter-final date with Mexico which they won 2-0. The semi-final was a rematch with Brazil but, this time, the Dream Team won a dramatic tie 4-3 with two late goals from Kanu Nwankwo. In the final match, they defeated Argentina 3-2 to win Africa's first Olympic football gold medal. SYDNEY 2000 AGAINST the grain of expectations, Nigeria failed to defend the gold medal it won four years earlier but Cameroun kept the continent's flag flying by beating Spain in a penalty shoot-out to keep the title in Africa for another four years. The U-23 began the competition with a 3-3 draw against Honduras, requiring an added-time goal from Yakubu Aiyegbeni to draw level after going behind. Bright Igbinadolor and Victor Agali were the other scorers on the day. Next up were the Australians who fell 3-2 before being forced to a 1-1 draw by Italy to book a quarter-final date with Chile. The Chileans, inspired by the legendary Ivan Zamorano, raced into a four-nil lead and Victor Agali's solitary goal 14minutes from time was scant consolation. NIGERIA’S ALL-TIME OLYMPIC GAMES TABLE P W D L GF GA PTS MEDAL MEXICO 1968 3 - 1 2 4 9 1 ----- MOSCOW 1980 3 --- 1 2 2 5 1 ----- SEOUL 1988 3 --- --- 3 1 8 — ----- ATLANTA 1996 6 5 --- 1 12 6 15 GOLD SYDNEY 2000 4 1 2 1 8 10 5 Q/F BEIJING 2008 6 4 1 1 10 4 13 SILVER ALL-TIME TOTAL 25 10 5 10 37 42 AFTER the disappointment of 2004, Nigeria's U-23 qualified ahead of time for Beijing with respected coach Samson Siasia in charge after taking the U-20 side to the finals of the FIFA World Youth Championships three years earlier. They started with a 0-0 draw with the Netherlands, defeated Japan and USA with identical 2- 1 wins and beat fellow Africans Cote d'Ivoire 2-0 in the quarters. The Nigerian lads tore Belgium to shreds for a 4-1 victory to reach the final and set up a rematch of the 1996 final against Argentina. However, unlike it happened 12 years earlier, it was the Argentines who ran away with a slim 1-0 win to leave Nigeria with a consolatory silver medal. Beijing 2008 COMPLETE FOOTBALL 8


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