I had no doubt in my mind we were going to qualify for Brazil. I mean, how can we not! We are Nigeria, they are Ethiopia. They’ve got coffee, we’ve got crude oil. They’re 90 million people (what the hell?!), we are closer to 200 million.
They got Ethiopia Airline, we’ve got…well, two armoured-plated BMWs! They should have had more sense than to turn up for the match. At least not in Calabar. They eat dogs in that town for Pete’s sake! And antelopes look like dogs when you’re really hungry. There was never going to be a fairy tale in that city, no reverberating upset as fodder for journalists. THIS IS SPARTA! Er, Calabar, actually.
If anything, the match was a bit of a disappointment. I’d expected more fight and fire from Ethiopia, the sort they gave us in Addis. But of course they had no high altitude to appeal to, and even then we still whooped their skinny butts in their backyard. They can be proud of themselves though. They got into a position to jostle with Nigeria for a World Cup spot. That in itself is an accomplishment, the opportunity for a squirrel to share the same turf with a lion. By same token however, they should curse the luck that pitched them against The Eagles.
So anyways, Brazil, here we come. I do not expect any preparation for that World Cup whatsoever on our part. No friendlies, no casing of oppositions and no rigorous team selection. No need to do anything. I don’t care. All I need the Eagles to do is just show up at Brazil. I needed to give the missus a good reason to be in that delectable country and the Eagles helped a brother out. Doesn’t matter if we lose all our group matches and are out of the tournament. Seven days is fine enough for me over there! I know some people who know some people that are chummy with the people who make things happen over there.
Ah shucks! Of course I want the Eagles to do well. I’m patriotic. The longer the Eagles stay in Brazil. The longer I can too. Giving them all the moral support and shouting myself hoarse at the turnstile. God knows we need some happy time in this country. I’m the keenest to see the Eagle’s preparation calendar and will be scrutinising every player mentioned in connection with the squad. I feel we’ve got a second chance to do well on home soil after the failure of South Africa in 2010. Brazil should be welcoming to the African teams.
Here’s some horrible thought; what if we are put in the same group with Brazil and say Belgium? Or Holland, Italy and Colombia? The heads of our ancestors shall not desert us!
Did you know that it’s about 15 hours of non-stop flight from Dubai to Sao Paulo and about 13 hours if you go via Schipol or Charles de Gaulle? It’s just under 10 hours if you fly via Johannesburg though. We can’t wait!
Senegal vs Cote d’Ivoire
My sympathies to the Teranga Lions. That’s what happens when you screw up in first legs. They came within a goal of knocking The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire out. But fortunes favour the brave. But boy, if that was not some frenetic match! You get the sense the Senegalese could have played that match for seven hours! Watching the match, I wondered if the Eagles could have coped with that sort of tempo.
The victor though, is Africa, as the better and the stronger of the two teams is will be toting the continent’s flag in Brazil. Uncle Didier and crew still boast arguably the strongest and most star-studded squad on the continent. They’d better not let us down!
Cameroon vs Tunisia
Between the Cameroonian FA trying to assassinate him and Head Coach Volker Finke instructing his players not to pass to him, Bros Eto’o did let bygones be bygones and led the Indomitable Lions to an impressive 4-1 on aggregate win over the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia (wanna-be Eagle, that bird!)
We got to watch out for that Benjamin Moukandjo lad. His goal, Cameroon’s second, was an absolute display of skill and talent. Tormented the Tunisian’s all day long and was electrifying. Turn in that kind of display in Brazil, son, and you won’t be in Nancy for long. My money is on you.