The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Powerful win for Nigeria

Nigeria’s recent triumph over Burkina Faso in the African Cup of Nations made Stephen Keshi the second person to win both as a player and as a coach.

The game was played in Johannesburg, South Africa, before a crowd estimated at 87,000.

“The best players do not always make the best coaches,” said Guilford Men’s Soccer Coach Jeff Bateson. “I bet less than one percent of all former players — in any sport — have done what Keshi has done.”

This was Nigeria’s third African Cup of Nations and first in 19 years. The Super Eagles ranks 30th in the new Federation Internationale de Football Association, according to They were ranked 52nd before their championship defeat.

Nigeria won the Burkina Faso match 1–0. Sunday Mba scored the winning goal forty minutes in.

“Winning this tournament is mainly for my nation,” said Keshi in a press conference. “My dream is to make all Nigerians happy.”

In the 89th minute of the game, Keshi brought veteran player and captain Joseph Yobo off of the bench so that he could help lift the trophy.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Yobo. “This is my sixth African cup. I said it was going to be my last. I’m short of words.”

Nigeria had been favored to beat Burkina Faso, globally ranked at 92nd.

“Everybody came through with a great match, and that is what we needed,” said Yobo. “Everyone gave something extra, and it made the difference.”

“But you know what that expectation does to the underdog, right?” said Bateson. “It makes them fight harder to win the game.”

“Football is football,” said Burkina Faso coach Paul Put to the Associated Press. “You have to be great when you win and humble when you lose. Congratulations to Nigeria. Maybe we showed Nigeria too much respect.”

What does Nigeria’s win mean and how will it affect soccer?

“I do not think it is much of an indicator for the World Cup,” said senior Tali Raphael. “With so many nations and so few spots for Africa in World Cup qualifying, it is quite the crapshoot.”

The Super Eagles’ victory guarantees a first round spot in June’s FIFA Cup in Brazil. They will face higher-ranked teams including Spain and Uruguay.

This was Burkina Faso’s first appearance at the African Cup of Nations finals. Burkina Faso previously made it to the final four in 1998.

“I find the tournament to be a lovely break to get in some international soccer,” said Raphael. “The Cup of Nations always provides some good Cinderella stories.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *