This is Naija, where football lives: Lessons from 2019 Afcon

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Despite missing out on the last two editions, Nigeria went to Egypt and finished third, and learnt some lessons along the way

 


 

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    #1 JUNE 22 IS EAGLES’ LUCKY DAY

    It seems June 22 is Nigeria’s lucky day. On the same day in 2018, the Super Eagles were up against Iceland in a must-win World Cup game in Volgograd and thanks to Ahmed Musa’s brace, Gernot Rohr’s men put their campaign on track after bowing to runners-up Croatia in their first game. Against Burundi in Alexandria, Nigeria cruised to a 1-0 triumph thanks to Odion Ighalo’s effort. Nigeria will surely not be asking for too much if they ask Fifa and Caf to put their crucial games on this date.
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    #2 NIGERIANS ALWAYS LOVE THE SUPER EAGLES

    Despite concerns over the team’s readiness for the continental showpiece, Nigerians trooped out in their numbers to cheer on Rohr’s men. Although the Eagles failed to make it to the final, they rewarded the fans for their unwavering support with a bronze medal.

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    #3 SUPER EAGLES HAVE FUTURE STARS

    Emerging talents like Samuel Chukwueze, Ola Aina, Alex Iwobi, and Wilfred Ndidi shone like stars during this tournament. While John Obi Mikel and Ighalo drew the curtain on their illustrious national team career, these young Eagles proved they have what it takes to lead the country to glory. Aina’s outrageous back-heel pass set up Ighalo for his goal against Burundi, Moses Simon did likewise for Omeruo against Burundi, while Chukwueze punished South Africa. The future is definitely bright for Nigeria.

  4. #4 TIN FAN PARKS BECOMING MINI STADIA

    For starters, TIN is an acronym for “This Is Naija”. They are fan parks set up across the country by MTN during international tournaments, where supporters can share in the stadium vibes.  This started last year during the Fifa World Cup Russia. Look out for these fan parks in subsequent tournaments.
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    #5 PIDGIN COMMENTARY WINNING THE HEARTS OF FANS

    Osha Pra Pra Pra Issa goal!! That's a trademark exclamation to come out of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The pidgin commentator on your TV screen throughout the tournament is probably one of the tournament’s MVPs. His name is Sawadinho and it won’t be a bad idea if he is signed up to run commentaries for European club competitions because of his artistry using pidgin English.

  6. #6 ALGERIA ARE WORTHY AFRICAN CHAMPIONS

    The Algerians were a very compact team during the tournament. Not too adventurous but they took their chances when they get them. That's what is really required to win a cup competition. Algeria applied this approach and were eventually crowned as kings of African football.