By Abiodun Alade
The comeback of the Home Based Super Eagles against the Atlas Lions of Morocco at the ongoing African Nations Championship in South Africa brings to mind the 1989 comeback by the country’s Flying Eagles against Soviet Union (Russia), dubbed the Dammam miracle.
Nigeria completed one of the most amazing comebacks in modern football when they came from three goals down at half-time to beat a shocked Morocco 4-3 and progress to the semis of the CHAN tournament in a compelling game played at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Atlas Lions had raced to a 3-0 in the first 45 minutes but Nigeria’s never-say-die attitude saw them overhaul that mammoth deficit in an electrifying second half to take the match into extra-time.
Buoyed by the second half fight-back, they stunned the shell-shocked Moroccans with a second half extra-time winner.
It was similar to the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. In the quarter finals match played on 25th February, 1989 at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam; Soviet Union raced to four goals lead as at 46 minutes, courtesy goals from Kiriakov (30min, 58 min),Tedeev (45 min) and Salenko (46 min), before the Olatunde Disu tutored team came back with goals from Ohenhen (61, 75 min), Elijah (83min) and Ugbade (84min). The team forced extra time before sending the Russian boys home during a penalty shootout that ended five goals to three in favour of the Nigerians. Nigeria came second at the tournament, losing to Portugal in the final.
WHICH DO YOU THINK IS THE GREATEST COMEBACK IN THE COUNTRY’S FOOTBALL HISTORY? YOU CAN ALSO ADD YOURS.