Former Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh has reveals how Indomitable Lions of Cameroon won 2000 African Cup of Nations, AFCON in controversial circumstances, but it was a painful final for Super Eagles of Nigeria as they lost the trophy at home, in front of their home fans at National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
NIGERIA PATH TO THE FINAL
The competition which was the first AFCON to be co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria saw Nigeria strolling to the final by defeating Tunisia 4-2, drawing 0-0 with Congo and beating Morocco 2-0 in their final group D game.
Nigeria played one of their toughest game against Senegal in the quarter-final. Khalilou Fadiga had scored the first goal for Senegal in the 7th minute as they were about to eliminate the host before the introduction of captain, Sunday Oliseh changed the tide of the game with Julius Agahowa equalising for Nigeria in the 85th minute and scoring a golden goal in the 92nd to put Nigeria through to the semi-final.
Nigeria easily earned a 2-0 win over South Africa in the semi-final with a brace from Tijani Babangida to get to the final of the tournament.
CAMEROON PATH TO THE FINAL
The Indomitable Lions held co-host, Ghana to a 1-1 draw with Late Marc Vivien Foe scoring the first goal of the game for Cameroon. Cameroon defeated Ivory Coast 3-0 before losing their final group A game 0-1 to Togo as the group saw all teams ending with four points each. Cameroon and Ghana eventually qualified.
In the quarter-final, Cameroon had a 2-1 win over Algeria before securing a final spot with a 3-0 win over Tunisia.
Cameroon 2-2 Nigeria (4-3 on penalties)
Cameroon raced to a 2-0 lead with goals from Samuel Eto’o and Patrick Mboma. Raphael Chukwu Ndukwe pulled one goal back for Nigeria before Jay-Jay Okocha’s powerful long-range strike took the game into extra time and penalties where the referee cancelled Victor Ikpeba’s spot-kick in spite of the fact that replays displayed that the ball actually crossed the line after initially hitting the bar.
Cameroon went on to win the game on penalties, giving Nigeria fans heartbreak. Cameroon players celebrate their victory while Nigerian players lament and cry over their home defeat to a bitter rival.
This game which was played on Sunday, February 13, 2000, remains one of the unforgettable games in the history of Super Eagles of Nigeria.