Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Top 3 Unbelievable Nigeria Football Comebacks - Which Was Your Favorite?


1. Nigeria Football Miracle of Dammam

It’s the quarterfinal game of the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship hosted by Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria under 20 team faced the Soviet Union Under 20 team for a chance to advance to the semi-finals. Nigerians had high hopes for the game. In this quarterfinal game, the Soviet Union raced to a four-goal lead within 46 minutes. Everyone couldn’t believe it. The match was all over at this point. No team at a FIFA World Cup match had ever comeback from four goals down to equalize let alone, go on to win. At this point, many fans lost hope. They felt it would be Soviet Union advancing to the semi-finals. However, the Nigerian players had other plans in mind. With only thirty minutes left in the match, Nigeria responded.  

Christopher Ohenhen scored two goals, in the 61st and 75th minutes of the game.
Samuel Elijah then scored the third goal in the 83rd minute before the captain, Nduka Ugbade completed the remarkable comeback with a goal in the 84th minute to end the game in a draw. Nigeria then won the match 5-3 on penalties to knock out Soviet Union who at this point couldn’t believe what just happened. Nigeria went on to defeat the United States 2 goals to one in the semi finals but lost to Portugal in the final. Even though the team came second in the competition. Their exploits in the quarter finals would not be forgotten and it was given it’s own name called “The Miracle of Dammam”

2. Nigeria Comeback AT 2014 CHAN against Morocco (The Cape Town Miracle)
Many people might have forgotten this, but it was just as incredible as others.
Nigeria had just won the African Cup of Nations in 2013, and the home-based players were looking to replicate that feet at the 2014 African Nations Championship (also known as CHAN), however they found themselves down 3-0 at half-time against Morocco in the quarter finals.
The team coached by late Stephen Keshi did not lose hope though, It seems that whatever the coach told them during the break appeared to have worked as midfielder Ugonna Uzochukwu began the comeback for Nigerian with a strike four minutes into the second half. Rabiu Ali then smashed home the second goal for Nigeria from the edge of the box in the 56th minute, the talented winger, Ejike Uzoenyi, then completed the extraordinary comeback for Nigeria in the 90th minute, when his shot from outside the box beat the Moroccan keeper to send the game to extra time. 

Substitute Aliyu Ibrahim then sealed the historic win with a goal in the 11th minute of extra time. Nigeria has just come from 3 goals down to defeat Morocco 4 goals to 3 and the fans couldn’t believe it. The players did a really good job pulling such a comeback on that day. Nigeria however lost the semi-finals game to Ghana on penalties.
But Nigeria still claimed the bronze medal after defeating Zimbabwe in the third-place match. Ejike Uzoenyi was voted as the best player in that tournament.

3. Nigeria Comebacks AT Atlanta 96 Olympics
Nigeria defeated Brazil in the semi-finals at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic games in what many people will describe as a miracle and their favourite comeback of all time in Nigerian Football History.
Nigeria managed to achieve what would become a legendary comeback against an all-star Brazilian team (which included Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Bebeto and Rivaldo).

Brazil was leading 3-1 with 12 minutes to the end of the match if felt like the game was over. At the 78th minute, Nigeria pulled one back with a goal from Viktor Ikpeba. The Nigerian team then equalised in the very last minute thanks to a goal from legendary striker Nwankwo Kanu to send the match into extra time. Kanu would also score the winning golden goal four minutes into extra time to send Nigeria to the finals.
Nigeria would do the same thing yet again at the finals against Argentina, coming from 2-1 down with less than 16 minutes to the end of the match. First Daniel Amokachi equalised in the 74th minute to bring the scores level. And then the key moment came: In the very last minute, Nigeria won a free-kick and Argentina tried to play the offside trap. But they failed, leaving Emmanuel Amunike alone in the box who scored to give Nigeria the victory against Argentina. And for the first time ever, an African team had won the Olympic football tournament.

Source: Top 3 Unbelievable Nigeria Football Comebacks - Miracle In Football


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