The Super Chickens of Nigeria were under the watchful eyes of 140,000,000 patriots with the uphill task of getting a victory that was going to be more than enough to seal qualification to the 2012 African Cup of Nations. Supporting the Nigerian national team is a lot different from Arsenal or any other football club.
Arsenal has lost four games in seven but the world as I know it hasn’t ended; Nigeria drew with Guinea this afternoon and I would probably had shot myself in the foot if I wielded a gun.
Down the years, I’ve seen my fair share of disappointments from my country. The team’s second round decimation in the hands of Denmark in the 1998 World Cup, the horrible performance coupled with the messed up jersey in the 2002 World Cup, failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and another disappointing campaign in the World Cup in South Africa last summer.
All we had to do was to score a bloody goal and keep another bloody clean sheet but we are going to gear ourselves for another tournament without the Super Chickens. What hurts the most is that African juggernauts like Egypt and Cameroun are going to miss out.
At least, we won’t get a bronze medal this time :d
Moving over to involving Arsenal, 16 Gunners were called up to represent their nations and it’s good to know that no bones were broken too.
Aaron Ramsey scored from the spot when Wales beat Switzerland with a two-goal margin. Bale the Chimp also got on the score sheet. Ramsey will lead his dragons to Sofia to play those Balkans that have surnames that end up with –ov.
Park Chu-Young got a chance to play some football again and he took out his frustrations with a brace against Poland in a match were Lukasz Fabianski was the custodian between the sticks for next summer’s European Championships co-hosts. I hope he gets some action for Arsene Wenger’s side soon enough because he’ll probably be eager to get a piece of the action for his new side.
Let’s not forget that he has to serve his nation in the Army in 2013.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was in scintillating form by scoring a brilliant hattrick for England’s Under-21s against Iceland’s Under-21s. His final goal was the icing of the cake as he rounded three players before firing past the goalkeeper at his near post. The Chambered Ox is one player that will be an ace in the deck for Arsene Wenger this season.
Theo Walcott gave a sweet assist for Ashley Young in England’s shock 2-2 draw with hard-fighting Montenegro. However, the game was marred by a red card for England’s star player Wayne Rooney when he lashed out on a Montenegrin player. Kieran Gibbs spent the game on the dugout.
Arsenal’s talisman played for 90 minutes when Holland defeated Moldova with a solitary goal. That victory was Holland’s ninth in the nine games they’ve played so far. Only Spain and Germany have matched that 100% record. Van Persie will be in action again when Holland play Sweden on Tuesday.
Laurent Koscielny spent 90 minutes on the bench when France thrashed Albania with three unreplied goals. In my Football Manager 2011, Koscielny has notched up over 70 caps for…………Poland. He still has a choice to play for Poland though because he’s still uncapped and he has Polish origins too.
Johan Djourou didn’t play when Switzerland lost to Gary Speed’s Wales. His defensive teammate, Per Mertesacker was involved in Germany’s 3-1 win over Turkey. Thomas Mueller scored a lovely placed effort but Mario Gomez’ stunner was a thing of beauty.
Andrey Arshavin led his Russian side to a slender 1-0 win over Slovakia but qualification isn’t certain yet for the Russian because they need a win against Andorra to book a place in Poland and Ukraine. Arshavin missed out on the World Cup and I’m pretty sure that he’ll want to shine on the world stage again.
Tomas Rosicky led his Czech side in the 2-0 loss to world champions Spain. Rosicky gave his all for his team but the technical play of Spain was too much for the Czechs. Football superpowers like Holland, Germany and Portugal bowed to Spain in the World Cup so the Czechs were going to be no different.
Alex Song played for Cameroun when they beat DR Congo but it’s too little too late for the Indomitable Lions because they are not going to play a part in the African Cup of Nations in January.
Gervinho, Marouane Chamakh and Yossi Benayoun are yet to play though.
The final phase of qualification takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I’m sure that he wasn’t talking about that hot Kelly Rowland video.