Sports Wingless Super Eagles beaten 2-3 at home by Congo

Nigeria's Super Eagles suffered a humiliating 2-3 home loss to visiting Congo who pipped their hosts at the UJ Esuene stadium in Calabar.

As African Champions most people expected the Super Eagles to easily roll over Congo in their first game of the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Nobody saw beyond a Nigerian triumph,at best an upset was not even envisaged,but the Super Eagles were left shell-shocked in what befell them in the game.

Congo never fazed about the opposition they were up against,played superbly in the way they made their Nigerian counterparts looked so ordinary in the match.

Taking over Rwanda's place after they were disqualified for fielding an ineligible team,Congo showed giant strides that they deserved a shot to be in Morocco next year.

Claude Leroy pulled a tactical masterstroke on his Nigerian counterpart,Stephen Keshi,organising his less known Congo team with a perfect set-up that the Nigerians vehemently struggled against.

Coming into the game,off-pitch problems have been Nigeria's Achilles heel,with the football federation enmeshed in a leadership tussle that has dragged on for over two months.

Keshi had his own problems with the football federation,not sure of his place as coach of the team.

Prior to the game the Nigerian players said that they weren't troubled by the problems that have rocked the country's football,and boasted they were going to see off their opponents.

Efe Ambrose headed the Super Eagles in front,following up a knock-down from Ahmed Musa's free-kick to give Nigeria the lead after 13minutes.

But the lead didn't last long as Congo showed how well they are in exploiting a disorganised defence.

A brilliant work down the right wing laid the groundwork for Prince Oniangue to perfectly slot the ball past Austin Ejide for the equaliser.

It was a rude awakening for the defending champions of the Nations Cup,but great credit to how well Congo took their chance and punished a very weak defending.

Congo got their second goal just minutes before the end of the first half,a sheer ingenuity on the edge of Nigeria's box saw the visitors unlock the Nigerian defence.

A brilliant one-two resulted in Thierry Bifouma having the ball all alone in Nigeria's box,and he did justice to that slotting the ball beyond Ejide for the second goal.

When Nigeria should be looking for a way to claw themselves back in the game,Ogenyi Onazi gave away a clumsy penalty that gave Congo a breathing space.

Bifouma stepped up and coolly converted from the spot to send his side 3-1 up,stunning the Super Eagles.

The decision to leave out Emmanuel Emenike in the starting line-up backfired on Keshi,because the Fenerbahce striker brought in urgency when introduced.

Nigeria struck the bar and Nosa Igiebor had a good chance of reducing the deficit after a collecting a back-heeled pass.

However,Gbolahan Salami bundled in a corner-kick,scoring the second goal for Nigeria and it looked like they would go on and snatch a draw,but it was not to be as the Super Eagles ended up losing to Congo for the first time since 1970.

Next stop is South Africa for the Super Eagles in Cape Town,and if Nigeria turn up like they did against Congo,then they could be waving 2015 Nations Cup goodbye even before it started.


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