2010 Fifa World Cup Tickets Sold Per Country The Super Eagles of Nigeria Break the World Cup Jinx

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria Break the World Cup Jinx

Nigeria broke the world cup in 1994 when they finally qualified for the biggest football event on planet earth.

This happened after several futile attempts by the then Green Eagles to get the elusive ticket. The closest attempt came in 1978, when defender Godwin Odiye’s unlucky own goal in a qualifier against Tunisia sent Nigeria out of the race to represent Africa at the 1978 Mon-dial.

The team had previously secured a 0-0 draw against the Cartage Eagles of Tunisia in Tunis and all they needed was a win to secure their first ever ticket. It was not to be as they received the shock of their lives when reliable defender Godwin Odiye headed into his own net.

The Eagles’ subsequent efforts to qualify for the 1982 Mon-dial hosted by Spain did not yield any positive result as they were denied a single ticket by the Algerian desert warriors who beat the Green Eagles 2-0 in their own backyard. and capped it off with a 2-1 defeat in distant Algiers, ending Nigeria’s World Cup dream.

In 1986, the national team again failed to qualify for the global fiesta hosted by Mexico. They again fell into the hands of the superior forces of the North Africans. This time it was the same Tunisians who denied the Eagles a precious ticket eight years ago who once again inflicted a 2-0 defeat on the Green Eagles in Tunis to halt their World Cup ambitions. The story was no different in 1990 when the Super Eagles dealt a serious blow to close neighbors Cameroon.

Needing at least a draw in their last group game, the Super Eagles were beaten 1-0 by their arch-rivals Cameroon. Italia 1990 qualification would be best remembered for claiming the life of Nigeria’s enterprising midfielder Samuel Okwaraji, who died during a World Cup clash with Palancas Negras of Angola on 12 August 1989 at the Lagos National Stadium.

Nigeria finally announced their arrival on football’s biggest stage, the 1994 World Cup, when they made it to the world cup for the first time after many previous failed attempts. They started their journey to their very first World Cup match by defeating Bafana Bafana of South Africa 4-0 in their first World Cup qualifier.

However, they suffered a narrow 1–0 defeat at the hands of Congo in their second World Cup qualifier. In the return leg of their clash with Bafana Bafana of South Africa dubbed the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’, the Eagles rose to the occasion and recorded an impressive goalless draw in front of a packed Johannesburg Soccer City crowd.

Nigeria progressed to the group stage with an emphatic 2-0 win over Congo in the final match of the first stage of the qualifiers.

Paired in Group A alongside Ivory Coast and Algeria, Nigeria made a shaky start to their World Cup finals journey, suffering a 2-1 away defeat at the hands of Ivory Coast before restoring some hope. qualification with a significant 4:1 defeat by Algeria. The flood gate of goals was opened by a certain Austin Okocha, who mesmerized the Algerians with a wonderful dribbling and capped off his brilliant performance with a breathtaking goal scored from a free kick. Ivory Coast were next to go down and went home empty-handed after a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the rampaging Super Eagles.

It was a fairytale adventure and one game stood between Nigeria and a ticket to the World Cup. In the Battle of Algiers, the senior national team needed either a win or at least a draw to seal their ticket to the World Cup.

In front of a raucous and hostile crowd in Algeria, the Super Eagles got the result they wanted when Finidi George equalized for Nigeria after the Algerians had taken the lead to force the Desert Warriors of Algeria to a 1-1 draw.

It was a historic result as Nigeria booked their ticket to make their first ever appearance at the world’s biggest football fiesta. There was celebration all over Nigeria and the whole country was united in her moment of ecstasy.

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