Democracy Day: 5 glorious sporting moments since 1999

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Nigerian players celebrate 3rd AFCON triumph in South Africa 2013; Nigeria last hosted the Nations Cup in 1980 as a sole host before partnering with Ghana for the 2000 edition... with the sorry state of stadia across the country, do the African champions have what it takes to host Africa's most prestigious tournament again?

Here is a compilation of Nigeria's best moments in sports since 1999.

It’s been 19 years since the Federal Republic of Nigeria became a democratic state, ending a 16-year military rule.

Although stories of woes have continued to trail Nigeria even in the democracy era, there have been some high moments.

In this piece, we look at five of those in sports in order of occurrence.

1. Super Falcons at 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup (1999)

Having played in two FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, the Super Falcons of Nigeria were without a win in six games.

A 2-1 over highly rated North Korea set their 1999 World Cup on the part of an iconic moment. They beat another highly rated side, Denmark to progress to the quarter-final where they faced Brazil.

 

That game is considered to be one of the greatest matches in Women's World Cup history. The Brazilians were 3-0 ahead just under 35 minutes but the Super Falcons fought back to level the score.

Even though they eventually lost the game via a 104th-minute golden goal, Nigerians and the world, in general, can never forget the most colourful and exciting Super Falcons side ever.

2. Samuel Peters WBC heavyweight title win (2008)

As a boxer, Samuel Peter was one of the best out of Nigeria. The whole country saw him win the WBC Heavyweight title in 2008, defeating Oleg Maskaev by TKO.

 

After dominating the game, Peter caught Maskaev with his right hand which put the Russian-American on the back foot.   Peters continued to attack to win the game.

3. Nigeria U-23 silver win at Beijing 2008 (2008)

There has not been a more memorable Nigerian moment in the Olympic Games more than the Kanu Nwankwo-led Dream Team of Atlanta 96.

But although Samson Siasia-led Nigeria U-23 come a distant second in the football event of the Olympics, it remains one of the most memorable of Nigeria’s post-military era.

The Nigerian team was dominated by players from the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands also led by Saisia.

 

With Osaze Odemwingie and Efe Ambrose, Nigeria recovered from a goalless draw in their first game against the Netherlands to beat Japan and United States in Group B.

Convincing victories over Ivory Coast and Belgium in the knockout stages pit Nigeria against Argentina who had the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria.

Nigeria, however, lost the final 1-0 to finish the 2008 Olympics with silver. Although they lost in the final, Nigeria impressed with their run to the final and played one of the most exciting football in the recent history of the country.

4. Winning 2013 AFCON title (2013)

 It was 19 years since Nigeria won her last AFCON title and patience was running out when late Stephen Keshi’s boys conquered Africa to win the title in 2013.

 

From the surprise victory over favourites Cote d'Ivoire to the win over Burkina Faso in the final, it was thrilling for Nigerians.

5. D’Tigers conquer Africa (2015)

The D’Tigers of Nigeria made history when they stunned Angola 74-65 for their maiden AfroBasket crown in 2015.

Defending champions Angola were overwhelming favourites to claim a 12th African trophy but Chamberlain Oguchi starred as Nigeria triumphed in Rades, Tunisia.

 

Tournament MVP Oguchi posted 19 points and seven rebounds to secure Nigeria's place at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Oguchi also made three of Nigeria's five three-pointers in the final, while Olaseni Lawal (12), Al-Farouq Aminu (11), Ben Uzoh and Andy Ogide (both 10) also scored double-figure points.

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My name is Jaramike Daniel a blogger with a vision, a programmer in the making, a web developer by hobby and a Nigerian by birth.. My dream is to inspire youths with passion in the tech aspect. I create and design websites for schools, Companies and Organisation... I can be reached through any of my social media listed below or whatsapp on +2348168210251

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