The „Super Eagles“ (German: Super Adler) had barely won the World Cup ticket after a 1-0 win over Zambia, when the players let coach Gernot Rohr live on. The 64-year-old German then did a lap of honour in the Godswill-Akpabio Stadium, of course with Nigeria flags in his hand! „The odds will go crazy“ reports the UK betting portal online-betting.org.
Curious: There was almost real trouble for the Nigerians, even a World Cup exclusion was discussed! The reason: The Super Eagles had set up Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey) in their last group match against Algeria. However, the defender was not allowed to play because of a yellow ban.
Shehu had already seen yellow in a 0-0 draw with football dwarf Swaziland. But the game was two years ago – and the Nigerian officials had simply forgotten the warning! Double bad luck: An email from Fifa saying Shehu was not eligible to play against Algeria went to an official who was fighting for his life in the hospital at the time.
The reed troops were lucky, Fifa was lenient. A World Cup exclusion was rejected, only the match against Algeria was scored 0:3 (actually 1:1). However, the „Super Eagles“ could not care, by that time the team was already qualified.
The team had dominated Group B of the African World Cup qualifiers, four of six games against Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria were won. Key to success: The team is peppered with legionnaires (more than 90 percent play abroad)!