It is commonly said that when you want to deliver a message, you ought to start with the goodnews and then graduate to the badnews. This past week was a mixture of sweet and bitter news for Nigerian football, and it’s always a pleasure to write about them.
The goodnews clearly overshadowed the unwanted, and most times, inevitable badnews. All four Nigerian clubs playing in the continent, advanced to the next rounds of their respective categories of competition. Kano Pillars and the ‘People’s Elephants’ Enyimba, both advanced to the round of 32 of the prestigous CAF Champions League. While Warri Wolves and Dolphins were better than their opponents, and were rewarded with a place in the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Part of the goodnews is that, Gambo Mohammed got a brace to take his tally to three goals in two matches. Can he go on to claim the golden boot? Dolphins need to sit up, as they were the only Nigerian team to concede a goal in this round. It gets tougher as you advance further.
Pillars 3-0 Al-malakia (5-0 agg.)
Buffle 0-1 Enyimba (0-4 agg.)
W. Wolves 3-0 RCB (4-0 agg.)
Dolphins 1-0 Vegetarian (1-1 agg.) 5-3(pks)*
The Nigerian U-17 were beaten twice in one week! The Eaglets were anything but golden in a competition many believe it was theirs to wins.
We took the defeat against South Africa in good faith, but the loss against Guinea is hard to accept. Having scored the first goal in the encounter, the Eaglets toiled to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! This is disappointing, but we must not lose hope on the team. Let’s keep supporting the coaches, inorder to help them build a team we can truly call “Golden.”
I congratulate the teams on the continent for making Nigeria proud, and I hope they keep the momentum going. Maybe, just maybe, this might be the year for Nigerian clubs.