Many Nigerian soccer fans remember the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in South Africa as one the Super Eagles emerged against all odds to win the continental tournament.
During the tournament, there were defining moments that can be regarded as golden because when it seemed all hope was lost, the resilient spirit of the 2013 Eagles squad put a smile on Nigerian faces and sent the nation into frenzy.
Read more about other Golden Moments of Nigerian Sports
Placed in Group C alongside 2012 champions Zambia, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia, the Stephen Keshi squad, which was a mix of local and foreign based stars, faced a huge task in their bid to advance into the knockout stages of the tournament. A 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Nigeria’s first game and a similar result in Nigeria’s second game against Zambia meant the African football giants faced the risk of being eliminated in the group stage of the competition since 1982.
Nigeria had gone into the last group game against Ethiopia leveled on points and goal difference with Zambia, who already had a slight advantage of advancing over Nigeria owing to the fact that Nigeria had a worse disciplinary record at the tournament compared to the Chipolopolo squad. Nigerians had to wait until the final ten minutes of the tie against Ethiopia as a foul on Victor Moses by Alula Girma in the 18-yard box saw the Chelsea winger convert the spot kick into goal. Few minutes later, the unstoppable Moses was brought down by the Ethiopian goalkeeper Sisay Bancha in the penalty box, which resulted in him being sent off.
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Moses once again rose to the occasion to gift Nigeria a second goal which all but sealed the Eagles qualification from the group to meet Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter-final phase. The result served as a morale booster to the Nigerian team that would go ahead to defeat Ivory Coast in the quarterfinal 2-1, Mali 4-1 in the semifinal, and Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final to gift Nigeria her third AFCON trophy.
Featured Image Source: Bleacher Report
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