With the New Year 2018 still very fresh, AOIFootball.com digs out some memorable football moments for Nigeria in the eventful outgone year…
Nigeria’s World Cup qualification:
Many wrote off the Super Eagles’ chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after they were drawn with Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria.
Nigeria used Cameroon as a scape goat, thrashing them 4-0 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo and it was smooth sailing for the Gernot Rohr-tinkered team from that moment.
The Super Eagles then needed win against Zambia in Uyo for a place in Russia, and they got it. A strike by Alex Iwobi sealed Nigeria’s place with a match to spare against Algeria.
Carl Ikeme’s leukemia diagnosis:
After commendable number of appearances for the Super Eagles, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme could not continue his campaign for Nigeria. The Wolverhampton Wanderers’
stopper was diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Ikeme was found to have some abnormal blood tests during routine preseason investigations.
The Super Eagles stopper is now receiving treatment and has been out of action ever since.
Home-Based Eagles qualify for 2018 CHAN Championship
Prior to the Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2018 World Cup, the home-based Eagles secured their ticket for this year’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
The Home-Based Eagles were drawn against Benin Republic in the playoff round from the West B zone.
In the first leg played in Cotonou, Benin Republic won 1-0 thanks to an 89th minute penalty by Mama Seibou.
But in the return leg at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, a goal in each half by Rabiu Ali and Kingsley Eduwo, sealed a third CHAN appearance for the Home-Based Eagles.
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Review:
The League Management Company (LMC) under the leadership of Alh. Shehu Dikko must be commended for the tremendous work they did in 2017. It was a year of good and bad in the league, but the good thing is that the good surpassed the bad and this goes to show that our league is growing and not passive.