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Lowly Rated Congo Shock Super Eagles at Home, as Keshi saw Defeat coming

Name and good football sometimes don’t win soccer matches, perhaps, that was the hard lesson the Super Eagles of Nigeria learnt after they were beaten 3-2 at home by lowly rated Congo Brazzaville in their African Nations Cup qualifying game Saturday in Calabar.

The African champions, playing in front of their ever supportive home fans, were no doubt the better side in the early stage of the encounter, and expectedly took the lead through defender Efe Ambrose’s header  in the 14th minute.

super-eagles3However, the lead did not last long as Prince Oniangue equalized for the visitors three minutes later.

Oniangue registered his brace just before half-time to boost the Congolese’ morale going into the final fourty- five minutes.

Monaco defender Elderson Echiejile compounded the Super Eagles’ problem when he brought down striker Thiery Bifouma inside Nigeria’s 18 yard box in the second half. Bifouma converted the spot kick to seal victory for the visitors.

Substitute Gbolahan Salami pulled a goal back for the African champions in stoppage time with a close range effort, resulting from a corner kick. The goal, however, was not enough to save coach Steven Keshi and his wards from suffering a shocking home defeat from the hands of the so called ‘’underdogs’’.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, has said he saw his team’s defeat coming.

The former Mali coach expressed displeasure over the team’s first half performance.

“I’m very disappointed. It was not just the result but the way we played in the first half. I was like a soothsayer because I saw it coming and I talked to the boys that they had to be aggressive and first to the ball.

“I’ve played against the Congolese team before and I know they play tip-tap football. We scored the first goal and that was it. It’s a shame that we had opportunities, mostly in the second half, but we could not score,” Keshi said.

With the result, Nigeria are placed third in Group A after the first group games, while South Africa stay on top following a convincing 3-0 victory over Sudan a day before.

Nigeria, who could be banned from football on Monday by FIFA as a result of the on-going crisis within the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, will have to win all their remaining group matches to stand a good chance of making it to the next round of the continental tournament.

The Super Eagles’ next travel to Cape Town to face South Africa on Wednesday, 10 September 2014.



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