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Cameroon 1990 and Didier Drogba in Munich - Five great nights in African Football

20:20 GMT+3 11/11/2019
Cameroon v Argentina.
Goal, in association with Guinness, remember five great nights in African football

  • Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar

    Liverpool vs AS Roma, 1984 European Cup

    Bruce Grobbelaar’s European Cup final victory with Liverpool over AS Roma at the Studio Olimpico, represents the first time an African player—not including players like Eusebio and Mario Coluna who featured for Portugal—clinched the top honour in club football.

    Not only that, but Zimbabwe’s Grobbelaar was decisive in the outcome of the clash, as the Reds won their fourth title, producing some penalty shootout heroics following a 1-1 draw.

    During the shootout, Grobbelaar debuted his now famous ‘bandy legs’ technique to disrupt the Roma takers, wobbling his legs and gyrating on the spot during their run-ups in order to put them off.

    It worked, with both Bruno Conti and Ciccio Graziani missing their penalties.

  • Diego Maradona Argentina World Cup 1990 Cameroon

    Argentina vs Cameroon, 1990 World Cup

    Cameroon kicked off the 1990 World Cup in Milan with a blockbuster victory, as they downed reigning champions Argentina 1-0 at the San Siro.

    The Indomitable Lions espoused something of a physical style against the Albiceleste, but that approach ought not distract from the quality they had in their ranks.

    Despite an apparent gulf in quality, between an Argentina side containing Diego Maradona and a Cameroon side who were predominantly amateurs, the Lions took the lead when 
    Francois Omam-Biyik headed the ball past the hapless Nery Pumpido.

    Cameroon would go on to reach the quarter-finals, where they were defeated by England, but they returned to their country as heroes.

  • Papa Bouba Diop Senegal France 2002 World Cup

    Senegal vs France, 2002 World Cup

    Rivalling Cameroon’s victory over Argentina in 1990 is Senegal’s triumph over France in the opening match for the 2002 World Cup.

    Unlike the Indomitable Lions, this was Senegal’s debut in the competition, and they were up against a Bleus side which entered the tournament on the back of victories at the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championships.

    Yet as they struggled to find vibrancy going forward, so too they failed to contain Senegal’s lively, electric attackers, with El Hadji Diouf notably creating havoc in the French backline.

    Papa Bouba Diop scored the winner—following a fine cutback from Diouf—as the Teranga Lions sent shockwaves across the footballing world.

  • Asamoah Gyan dejected Ghana Uruguay 2010 World Cup

    Ghana vs Uruguay, 2010 World Cup

    Like Cameroon and Senegal, Ghana also reached the quarter-final of the World Cup, dispatching the United States after extra time to set up a Last Eight showdown with Uruguay.

    While this ultimately ended up being a 'bad night’ in African football, due to the Black Stars’ elimination on penalties following John Mensah’s miss, rarely has a national team performed as well in such a high-profile contest.

    Ghana, of course, should have reached the semis, making African history in the process, as they were denied at the death when Luis Suarez hand-balled on the line to prevent Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound header.

    Asamoah Gyan subsequently missed the resulting penalty, while Suarez, who was sent off, claimed that he’d made the ‘save of the tournament’ and that the ‘Hand of God now belongs to [him]’.

    A dark day for the continent in the end, but the Black Stars had done themselves proud on the grandest stage of all…and won many admirers in the process.

  • Drogba UCL 2012

    Chelsea vs Bayern Munich, 2012 Champions League

    African players had won the Champions League before Chelsea’s success in 2012, of course, with Samuel Eto’o, notably, making decisive contributions in three title triumphs.

    However, never before have the continent’s stars been as central to a UCL victory as Chelsea’s win under Roberto Di Matteo, where John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou all got their hands on winner’s medals.

    The star of their success, however, and notably, their shootout victory over Bayern Munich, was Didier Drogba, who, Sir Alex Ferguson later claimed, single-handedly won the title for Chelsea.

    Not only did Drogba equalise for the Blues to take the game to extra time, but he also stepped up to convert the decisive penalty in the shootout as Chelsea won 4-3 to become the first London side to conquer Europe.

    Drogba consistently demonstrated that he was a big-game player, but never more pertinently than in the 2012 UCL final.