Africa: Golden Moments – Three Legendary Nigerian Players in Afcon Finals

The Super Eagles have always found heroes at AFCON tournaments and they are looking for another after the likes of Odegbami, Amuneke, and Mba.

As Nigeria gears up for the AFCON final on Sunday evening in Abidjan, this report spotlights three players whose individual brilliance clinched the coveted AFCON trophy for Nigeria on three previous occasions.

1980: Odegbami’s Lagos double

Segun Odegbami, famously known as “Mathematical,” showcased his exceptional talent. His two remarkable goals in the final against Algeria secured Nigeria’s historic 3-0 victory, marking the nation’s first AFCON triumph. Odegbami’s stellar performance elevated him to legendary status, and his presence in Cote d’Ivoire motivates the current Super Eagles to aim for a fourth AFCON title.

1994: Amuneke’s Tunisian Magic

In the 1994 final against Zambia in Tunis, Emmanuel Amuneke emerged as the hero in the only game he played in with his two decisive goals, leading Nigeria to a 2-1 victory and their second AFCON title. Amuneke’s exceptional skill and clinical finishing solidified his place among Nigerian football greats. His subsequent winning goal at the Atlanta Olympics further cemented his legacy in Nigerian football history.

2013: Mba’s Johannesburg surprise

Home-based midfielder Sunday Mba delivered a moment of inspiration in the final against Burkina Faso in Johannesburg. Despite being relatively unknown, Mba’s juggle and strike secured Nigeria’s third AFCON trophy with a 1-0 victory. Although Mba’s Eagles career nosedived immediately after, his contribution to Nigeria’s AFCON success remains memorable.

While these players played pivotal individual moments, we cannot overlook the collective effort of the entire team. As the Eagles prepare for today’s upcoming AFCON final, the question arises: Who will join the ranks of these legendary players? Will the established stars like Victor Osimhen or Ademola Lookman join the ranks, or will a new hero like Terem Moffi or Semi Ajayi rise?

Nigerians eagerly await another AFCON title after an 11-year wait.


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