Sunday evening at the ongoing AFCON was an aurora of surprise on the sky of footballing world. Madagascar proved to the world once again that football is not on papers or FIFA ranking but on what happens on the turf.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were stripped of their wings by the debutants Barea, the national team of Madagascar. On paper as was said by the Super Sport commentator of the match, the whole of the Barea market value is half the market value of Wilfred Ndidi. This cold chilling shock down the spine of Nigerians remains a daydream in the eyes of many football book makers. Nigerians are left gob-smacked by this event. The reality of the defeat has left many bewildered.
The Super Eagles were awoken to reality of the punch left on them by Barea. On the 13th minutes of the match they saw themselves behind. Lalaina Nomenjanahary took advantage of the sloppy defending of Leon Balogun. It was a gift from the super eagles and Lalaina took no second thought and made use of the opportunity.
The Super Eagles saw themselves with an opportunity to assert their authority at the 31st minutes. It was an opportunity to put the ball behind the net of the Barea but the assistant captain of the super eagles Ahmed Musa made a terrible decision. He opted to dribble pass the goal keeper but this led to his fall and losing of the ball. The referee gave no second thought to the penalty appeal calls from the Super Eagles. 13th minutes into the second half the super eagles found themselves two goals down from a deflected free kick from Andriamatsinoro. These two great punches left the super eagles featherless and unable to fly.
The questions left in the heart and thought of many Nigerians are the following:
- Could it be that there exist a behind the dressing room problem?
- Could it be that the super eagles underrated the Barea? This question could be analyzed based on the body language of the players.
- Was the match lost from the technical incompetence: either an overall incompetency in the coaching ideas or just the approach brought at that very match?
- Is it a collective team poor performance or is it errors from a few players?
The super eagles were left with a wounded pride while Barea of Madagascar has pulled the best tricks ever off their sleeves. They would match on with pride and confidence through the rest of the tournament. Madagascar celebrated their coach. It was a mini UCL celebration they had yesterday right after the final whistle was blown. It revealed to the football world how they had the intention to upset Nigeria but never saw a victory of the super eagles as a possible reality at their debut. This real leaves Nigeria in second play on the table with 6points behind Madagascar with 7points
While Nigeria has been left in the lava of a shocking 2 nil defeat to Madagascar the rest of the tournament would definitely leave viewers and football lover very thrilled.
We hope the super eagles recover from the shock.