The Party Rojo Denied Eagles in St Petersburg

first_imgThe mood of these Nigerians is understandable. Playing second fiddle to the same Argentina, a record fifth time, starting with Eagles debut defeat at the Mundial in USA in 1994, has sort of become an anathema. And in all of these defeats, only one goal separates Nigeria from the euphoria of victory. What makes this particular defeat more painful is perhaps, Nigeria was just four minutes away from making it to the knock out stage.With the South Americans in the Top 10 bracket of global football and Nigeria in the 49th, nobody expected them to fall so easily. Not with top players like Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Manchester United’s Rojo, Manchester City’s duo of Sergio Kun Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi, PSG’s duo of Angel di Maria and Gionani Lo Celso, Juve’s duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, and several other top players too numerous to recall here. The Albiceleste were clear favourites to pick the second ticket after Croatia had topped the group going into the third matches with two wins.But the never-give-spirit in us gave several Nigerians here in Russia and elsewhere around the world the hope that miracle was possible against the Argies. And they held on to that faith. Not even Messi’s brilliant early goal against Eagles could stop these incurable Nigerians from dream of a possible berth in the Last 16. Some of them chorused that after all, Nigeria defeated Iceland who held the South American nation to a draw.And then a part of Eagles’ Oyinbo Wall, Leon Balogun was fouled by former Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, inside Argentina box to earn the penalty beautifully converted by Victor Moses. That equalizer reinforced that belief that miracle was on the way. But all that was not to be as the experienced Turkish arbiter stood his ground that it was not a penalty despite television replay showing the ball bouncing off Rojo’s left arm.At the end of 95 minutes encounter inside the St Petersburg Stadium, the Argentines who constituted 98 per cent of the 64,468 fans inside arena celebrated the way they have done in the previous encounters at USA ‘94, Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.And so, all the grooves planned ahead to celebrate Nigeria’s triumph over Argentina for the first time at competitive level failed to hold. Top Nigerian artistes like Tu Face, Sound Sultan, Timi Dakolo and Oritshefemi among the Shaku Shaku artistesand several others including comedians in town for the Shaku Shaku dance party failed to hold. Instead, forlorn and angry faces replaced the excitement with which the few Nigerians here entered St Petersburg.With Qatar 2022 just four years away, only posterity can tell if the hoodoo surrounding the perennial agony inflicted on Nigerians will continue if Eagles &India themselves in the same group as the Albiceleste.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram DURO’S RUSSIA NOTE…Everywhere you go here in St Petersburg since Tuesday night, what you see on the faces of Nigerians is annoyance and anger. They are yet to get over the Group D loss to Argentina here at the World Cup in St Petersburg.What you hear mostly from these Nigerians are: If only Odion Ighalo had scored that opportunity that came his way, deep into the second half; If only Turkish Centre Referee, Cuneyt Cakir, had awarded Nigeria a second penalty from the ball handled by Marcos Rojo inside Argentina’s box. Perhaps, Nigeria will not be home-bound now so early in the tournament.last_img read more

Koulibaly signs new Napoli contract, despite reported Man United interest

first_imgKalidou Koulibaly has signed a new five-year contract to stay at Napoli.The club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the deal on Saturday, prior to the club’s pre-season friendly at Liverpool. LATEST Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti De Laurentiis was initially asked about Lille defender Kevin Malcuit, who he confirmed has now signed.“Yes, all true,” the president confirmed to Sky, “He comes outright for a total of €13 million.”He then declared: “Koulibaly, he has renewed with us for another five seasons.“He is the best defender in the world probably. For him I have refused €90 million from three clubs because I do not sell.” targets LIVING THE DREAM Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? three-way race Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Koulibaly has been the subject of multiple big bids this summer moving on REVEALED Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing center_img The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade IN DEMAND Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father TOP WORK Latest Transfer News targets This announcement will come as a blow to multiple top European clubs including Manchester United.The Red Devils are known to be long-term admirers of the Senegalese centre-back and were rumoured to be targeting him this summer before switching their attentions towards Barcelona’s Yerry Mina. 1 Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ RANKED last_img read more