If you follow African soccer at all, you know that Cameroon (CMR) and Nigeria have been rivals since they both fielded national teams. Needless, to say this rivalry has followed me state side and I consistently trash talk my Nigerian friends – mostly because they always lose to us. This morning, I woke to find the e-mail below from a Nigerian friend and I thought it was worth sharing with the rest of you because it’s so true.
Before I begin, I’d like to say that I’ve been watching Nigerian football since Sam Okwaragi’s time, back when Jay-Jay Okocha was still playing for Rangers FC in Enugu, Nigeria.
That being said, I’d like to take this time to re-iterate what I’ve said in the past. Nigerian soccer performance has been awful since France ’98. The last impressing performance by Nigeria was beating Spain with that lovely shot from Sunday Oliseh during the 1998 World Cup. Ever since, they’ve been nothing more than just another average African team. Not to mention the fact, they didn’t even make the World Cup in 2006.
Why I’m I writing about this? Because I’m tired of all the hype and people (Nigerians and non-Nigerians) telling me Nigeria is really good in soccer. No, they used to be 10 years ago. Now, they suck.
How have they been able to win some games? Easy, regular teams are still haunted by the performances in USA ’94, Atlanta ’96, and France ’98. As a result, they are defending more, and attacking less. Great teams like Argentina, Brazil, Spain and more destroys Nigeria in matches. They attack Nigeria’s unconditioned defense full of mistakes, especially after the 70th minute. Well, maybe the fatigue that shows at that time is due to African soccer players reducing their ages by 5-10 years in order to make it pro. So while they are listed as 30, they are possibly 40 year old men…lol
I woke up this morning and watched the Nigeria/USA game and was not impressed. With USA playing with only 10 men, Nigeria barely squeezed out a 2-1 win. First, we know Africans can’t shoot…at least not from outside the 18-yard line. They were shanking shots wide away from target. On a break away, they lack individual skills to make a counter attack deadly. In most cases, the attacks were slowed down and waited for the other team’s defense to get back. In other cases, people were trying to do moves and losing the ball. On the offensive third, it looked like they were playing monkey post (Ban all Monkey Post games in Africa now!…lol). Players held the ball long enough to draw 2-3 players in the attack and were still passing it around, trickly within the same little area.
Late in the game, U.S learned that they needed to score a goal and began pushing. The defense was totally exposed and U.S could’ve capitalized especially with the one that hit the cross-bar. The next round will be very tough for them. Even the goalie was caught off his line a couple of times, I can imagine what the likes of Messi and other stars can do to that defense.
Just tired of hearing that Nigeria is good. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of false praises whether it benefits me or not so I had to tell the truth if no one else will.
Do you care? Yes, you do because you made it to the end of this article
Of course, I can’t say the same for CMR because, well we win Olympics medals in soccer and were second in the more recent African Cup. I will admit that our performance in the last couple of world cups have been less than stellar.