Nigerians can make the noise, Cameroon deserve 2000 AFCON – Oliseh
It would have been a wonderful gift for Nigerians, but the Indomitable Lions deserved to be crowned champions of Africa in 2000, says Sunday Oliseh.
Nigeria succumbed on penalties to Cameroon at the 2000 African Cup of Nations – a tournament Nigeria co-hosted with Ghana.
Samuel Eto’o and Patrick Mboma gave Cameroon a 2-0 advantage, but Raphael Chukwu reduced the deficit for Nigeria just before the half-time break.
Jay-Jay Okocha restored parity in the second half to force the game into extra-time – and with no winner after 30 minutes of extra-time, the winner was decided from 12 yards.
Okocha, Okpara, and Oliseh scored from the 12 yards, while Kanu and Ikpeba missed – but it was the later’s spot-kick that was ruled out by referee Mourad Daami that has been the subject of a hot debate ever since.
That loss has been described by many Nigerians has the most painful football defeat, with spotkick describing it as AFCON 2000 Final: The day Nigeria suffers daylight robbery
However, in the words of Oliseh, who captained Nigeria to the tournament, ‘Cameroon are deserving champions.’
“In the end, they won the trophy and they deserved it,” the 54 capped international told CAFonline.
“We can make all the noise now but the cup is theirs. Cameroon had a very solid team.
They had Eto’o who gave us a lot of problems with his pace and they also had a sold midfielder in the late Marc Vivien Foe with my friend, Rigobert Song in the central defense.”
On losing the 2000 AFCON finals, Oliseh recalled, “I have mixed feelings about the 2000 AFCON because as the host nation, we did our best to get through to the final but it was very sad the way we lost it.”
“We not only lost the trophy but it was as if something had been taken away from us. We felt sad because it could have been a wonderful gift to the fans on home soil especially since we had invested so much in the tournament,”
Olatosimi Fadahunsi279 Posts
Olatosimi is a part-time non-professional footballer and a football writer with spotkick. His ideology/mind/eyes endlessly rove multidimensionally.