Tag: Nigeria

The 200% World Cup: World Cup Breakfast, Day 5 – Portugal’s Dismal Day

It’s all a matter of the position in which you put yourself. There was much discussion last night of the incident that led to the sending off of Pepe during yesterday’s match between Germany and Portugal, and as with all arguments that take place online, there was never going to be one decisive winner. On the one hand, Robert Muller’s reaction to Pepe’s momentary lapse of reason hardly shows the game in the greatest of lights, but on the other, Pepe has a reputation for allowing his temper to get the better of him, and in any case the reality of the matter is that the ultimate responsibility for Pepe staying on the pitch for the full duration of this match rested with, well, Pepe, ultimately. It would be nice if television broadcasters could spare us the sort of moralising that we had to endure from Adrian Chiles at half-time yesterday afternoon, though. The kerfuffle surrounding Pepe’s dismissal almost overshadowed the torrid hammering that Portugal received at the hands of Germany during the first half of this match. Joao Pereira might have been sent off for the foul on Mario Goetze which led to the penalty from which Muller gave Germany the lead in the first place, but things only went from bad to worse for Portugal as the first half wore on, and by half-time the Germans led...

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The 200% World Cup: Iran vs Nigeria – Live!

It’s evenings like this that really bring the World Cup to life. Across the world this evening/afternoon/morning/whatever, tens of millions of people will be choosing to watch the 2014 World Cup debuts of… Iran and Nigeria. This is Iran’s fourth appearance at this stage of the tournament, but they have never got through the group stages of the tournament before. Their debut came in 1978, when they were eliminated after three matches, drawing against Scotland and losing gainst the Netherlands. It took twenty years for the team to get this far and, whilst they were unable to get through...

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World Cup Warm-ups: Nigeria v Scotland

“He’s just thrown it in the net,” noted BBC Scotland match analyst Kevin Gallacher. Twice he said it. In a match which had been newsworthy in its build-up because of claims it had attracted the attention of match-fixers. That’s it, Kev. You calm the waters. If the fix was in on Nigeria’s World Cup warm-up friendly against Scotland at Fulham’s Craven Cottage, why did Nigerian goalkeeper Austin Ejide so convincingly claim he was being fouled as he threw Shaun Maloney’s corner into the net? And if the fix was in, then why wasn’t at least as much attention paid to Scotland’s borderline-slapstick defending for Nigeria’s 90th-minute equaliser, especially as they had been a largely formidable rearguard to that point? Maybe the fix was in on the time of Scotland captain Scott Brown’s inevitable booking – who would have put money on the 87th minute? Had there been a sweepstake, would it have been worth printing any tickets higher than 50? Or was there some form of spread betting on the wide spread (sorry) of Nigeria’s shooting? The African champions had about a dozen shots off target which were a combined total of about a mile high and/or wide of their scheduled destination, Gallacher’s fair comment about one shot heading for “Kensington High Street,” showing an impressive, or impressively-researched, knowledge of West London geography. But if the fix was in,...

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The 2013 African Cup Of Nations – The Final, And Review

For all the praise heaped upon Burkina Faso for their unexpected run to the AFCON 2013 final, there is little doubting that Nigeria were the best team in the tournament. The Super Eagles only showed this intermittently in the final itself, most importantly with the appropriately-named Sunday Mba’s stunning winning goal and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s stunning 72nd-minute save from substitute Wilfried Sanou. However, their performances over the three knockout games were far and above what any other team could consistently produce over a mostly disappointing three weeks of football. ITV’s Jim Beglin maintained his fixation with the “surface,” noting on about 94 occasions that the one at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg (‘Soccer City’ to its mates) was “lively.” This, he claimed, was due to a concert there the previous week by that well-known beat combo he appeared to call “Red Hot and the Chilli Peppers.” Rock on, Jim. Mba’s goal, therefore, was even better than it looked, as he had the wherewithal to deal with the “surface” by not letting the ball hit it when he flew past Burkinabe beard-of-the-year Mohamed Koffi and fired his left-foot shot past keeper Daouda Diakite. The goal arrived in the 40th minute. But by half-time, it was being noted around the world that Mba loves scoring on a Sunday – having scored the winner in the quarter-final against Cote D’Ivoire seven days...

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