Friday, 9th June 2023

‘We wanted to prove those who wrote us off wrong’

By Gowon Akpodonor, Cairo, Egypt
08 July 2019   |   4:15 am
Super Eagles striker and scorer of the third goal in Saturday’s round of 16 clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, Alex Iwobi...

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr (2nd-R) celebrates with Nigeria’s forward Alex Iwobi (R) and Nigeria’s forward Odion Ighalo during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6, 2019. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Angry Egyptian police raid Nigerians after defeat to S’Africa
Super Eagles striker and scorer of the third goal in Saturday’s round of 16 clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Alex Iwobi has revealed that so many people wrote off the team’s chances of making it to the quarterfinal before the kick off of the match.

Iwobi struck the third goal after China-based striker, Odion Ighalo scored twice for the Eagles to beat the resilient Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the Alexandria stadium on Saturday.

Speaking with The Guardian shortly after the match, Iwobi said: “So many people actually wrote us off after the game against Madagascar, but we told ourselves that we will stand up to the challenge. That alone motivated us.

“In today’s match against Cameroon, we showed the real Nigerian spirit. We fought hard against a quality side, who are the defending champions. They had the game under their control at some point, but we kept pushing hard until we won.

“We will stay humble and keep working hard. We have little time to celebrate as we have to start preparation for the quarterfinal match immediately,” Iwobi stated.

Before Saturday’s game at the Alexandria stadium, Iwobi had told The Guardian that it was difficult to break down the defence of African teams because of the physical nature of the players

Meanwhile, some Nigerians residing in Cairo, Egypt’s capital city paid for the ‘sins’ of South Africa after Bafana Bafana defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 in their round of 16 clash on Saturday.

The Guardian learnt yesterday on arrival in Cairo that Egyptian police vent their anger on some hapless Nigerians after the defeat.

Two Nigerians, who spoke with The Guardian at a restaurant operated by a Nigerian in new Cairo, said the police frisked and harassed every Nigerian they came across on their way shortly after the defeat.

“I barely escaped, but I lost my phone in the process,” one of them said. “I had to scale the fence in a bid to avoid being arrested. I am very sure the police were angry because of the defeat to South Africa. Many Nigerians here, especially those who have not regularised their papers, may be deported after the AFCON,” he stated