Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tunisia out, Nigeria in

Nigeria have just qualified for the World Cup after two dramatic matches in Nairobi and Maputo.
In Nairobi, Kenya was playing Nigeria. Nigeria was forced to win, and at the same time hope that Mozambique take points from Tunisia in Maputo. The Nigerians, who had never lost to Kenya before, were 1-0 down at half-time, while the score in Maputo was 0-0. The Tunisians apparently did not seem to worry about the prospects for their World Cup participation, and let Mozambique dominate, even as news 15 minutes into the second half must have arrived, that Obafemi Martins had equalized for Nigeria, and only a few minutes later, Nigeria went ahead 2-1, and only then did Tunisia bother to attack. But this didn't last long: Kenya equalized, and again Nigeria was out and Tunisia were in.
But the Tunisians apparently had their minds in Kenya; only seven minutes before the end Dario scored for Mozambique, and almost at the same time Martins scored his second and Nigeria's third goal, putting Nigeria back on track and Tunisia out.
It must have been desperate attacking from Tunisia in the dying minutes of the match, knowing the score in Nairobi, but Mozambique still won, and with the score also holding in Nairobi, Nigeria were in the World Cup.
What a drama! This is what football is about!

Nigeria is arguably one of the nations with most football passion, with an almost never-ending pool of immensely talented players (just look at their u-17 side presently playing at the World Cup!). They were greatly missed at the 2006 World Cup, but will surely be an asset in South Africa next year.
It is a pity for Tunisian football and fans, but they can only blame themselves.
Congratulations to all Nigerian fans, who are surely celebrating now!

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