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Super Eagles Slump to Shock Defeat

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria started the defense of their African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title with a shock 3-2 home defeat to Congo Brazzaville on match day 1 of the AFCON qualifiers on Saturday in Calabar.

Nigeria took the lead early in the game through Scotland-based defender Efe Ambrose, throwing the fans at UJ Esuene stadium into delirium. However, Congo Brazzaville’s Thievy Bifouma who was on loan at English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion last season stole the show afterwards with two goals on both sides of half-time. Bifouma took advantage of some horrid defending, scoring his first goal. He then scored his second from the penalty spot after his teammate Prince Oniangue had levelled the scores three minutes after Ambrose’s goal. Gbolahan Salami scored a late goal, reducing deficit as the Super Eagles laboured in vain to salvage a point.

The defeat wipes off the Super Eagles’ longstanding unbeaten home record of 47 games and enters the history books as the first time the Super Eagles have let in three goals at home in a qualifier. The Super Eagles have now won just once (1-0 vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina at 2014 FIFA World Cup) in eleven games.

Nigeria’s next qualifier is against South Africa on Wednesday. However, the match may be cancelled if FIFA bans Nigeria on Monday. FIFA, the world’s football governing body, have given the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) an ultimatum to settle their in-house differences and expect newly-elected NFF head, Chris Giwa to hand in his resignation letter by Monday morning.

Other AFCON Qualifiers:

Congo DR 0-2 Cameroon
Ethiopia 1-2 Algeria
Zambia 0-0 Mozambique
Niger 1-3 Cape Verde Islands
Burkina Faso 2-0 Lesotho
Gabon 1-0 Angola
Ghana 1-1 Uganda
Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 Sierra Leone
Tunisia 2-1 Botswana
Senegal 2-0 Egypt
Guinea 2-1 Togo
Sudan 0-3 South Africa

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Arinze Ude

Arinze Ude is a PhD Student at the University of the West of England Bristol, UK, where he's exploring on the mechanisms of donor cell leukaemia. He shares his deep thoughts on his blog and the Naked Convos. He is keen to promote personal development of the Nigerian youth via thought-provoking articles.

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