The Super Eagles of Nigeria failed to defeat history by keeping hopes of winning the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, after winning all group games.
Despite a 100 per cent record in the group stage in the ongoing AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, fly the Super Eagles out of the competition by a narrow 1-0 win on Sunday night in Garoua.
In the three editions of AFCON that the Super Eagles have won, they have never won all their three group games.
That is, in 1980 that they won their first AFCON trophy, they recorded five points in two games at the group stage. They went on to beat Algeria 3-0 at the final with Patrick Olusegun Odegbami scoring a brace and Mudashiru Babatunde Lawal icing the cake to make it 3-0.
In 1992, they ended the group stage with three points in two games. They won against Gabon (3-0) and drew against Egypt(0-0) to have three points in a pool of just three teams. A brace from winger Emmanuel Amunike helped Nigeria edge Zambia 2-1 at the final.
Also, in 2013, they ended the group stage unbeaten in three games as they accumulated five points. Sunday Mba's goal helped their Super Eagles win their third AFCON title.
Meanwhile, the last time Nigeria won all her group games was in 2006. They were eliminated at the semi-finals by Ivory Coast as they lost 0-1.
Since 1996, only three countries have won the AFCON after winning all their group games. During the above mentioned period till date, countries have won all their group games 14 times.
Out of this, only three have been able to go ahead and win the trophy. These are Cameroon in 2002, Egypt in 2010 and Algeria in 2019. This feat, Nigeria failed to meet as they lost to Tunisia today 0-1.
The ghost of never winning the AFCON after a 100 per cent success at the group stage continues to hunt them.
📹 𝐇𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐋𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓𝐒: 🇳🇬 0-1 🇹🇳
Youssef Msakni nets stunner to put #TeamTunisia in the quarter-finals ✅
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 24, 2022