The humiliation Brazil almost gave Nigeria in 1996 – – Do you remember the historic football match between Nigeria and Brazil in Atlanta 1996? General sani Abacha was the Head of State. Jim Nwobodo was the Minister of Sports while Jo Bonfere was the head coach of the Dream Team. Nwankwo Kanu fully on ground as the Captain of the team.
Brazil was the King of World Football, and they knew it. So Nigeria losing to them that night wouldn’t be a big deal.
Gosh!! Brazil dealt with us that night. Till around 77th minutes (about 12 minutes to the end of the match) Brazil was obviously dominating the game.
The score line was Brazil 3 Nigeria 1
Despite the Brazil squad including star names like Carlos, Rivaldo, Bebeto and Ronaldo. Nigerians watching the game still thought Nigeria did not deserve such humiliation from the Brazilian boys.
We had been beaten mercilessly. Nigerians became angry towards the end of the match; many had turned off their television sets, some were shedding tears while few hope and prayed that we would not be further disgraced with yet another goal.
But the unimaginable happened in the game.
At about 78th minutes Victor Nosakire Ikpeba stroke from 20 meters to score the second goal, everything changed beyond the 3:2 score line. Pressure came upon Brazil and hope for Nigeria players.
They became more motivated and began to fire shots from every angle.
Then another miracle at the 90th minute just before the final whistle, Kanu Nwankwo turned and flipped the ball over DIDA and it was another goal, the equalizer.
There was a golden rule then. “The golden goal” the first team to score in the extra time wins the game.
Then came the decisive goal from Papilo( Kanu Nwankwo) in just 3 minutes into the extra time and that was how the messy game became a message.
A lot can still be done this year to make it a glorious year .
Covid-19 Pandemic will go and everything will become normal again. The remaining part of this year is sufficient to define the whole year. Don’t lose hope now it’s too early.