How will the Nigerians fare against the US in the 2017 World Cup?
By Benoit TremblayIf you thought Nigerians had the best soccer teams in the world, you should have listened to a speech by former Nigeria striker Roy Keane.
In the words of former team-mate Ali Akbar, Keane “got everything right.”
And he was right.
The Americans’ only victory in the last three World Cups came at home to Mexico in a World Cup that ended in a penalty shootout.
While Nigeria won in a shootout in 1998, it was the first time the Americans beat the Nigerian team in a finals game.
And Nigeria, for the first year in the history of the World Cup, did not even win in the semifinals.
The U.S. only won in the group stage.
And, to make matters worse, the Americans also failed to qualify for the 2017 tournament.
The only tournament they did qualify for was the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
And yet, when it comes to making their World Cup roster, there is only one American player who stands out from the rest: Roy Keane, who scored the winning goal in the final of the 1999 FIFA World Cups and scored three more in the 1999 Confederations Cup.
While Nigeria’s players are still relatively new to the World Cups, the team’s coach, Ali Akram, is the first to acknowledge that his country still has some time to improve.
“Nigerians were the worst team in the World, we had only three wins and we were not at the World level,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.
“The Americans, in comparison, they are very talented and have good players.”
So while Nigeria is in a group with Russia and Argentina, the U.T. has the potential to beat all three teams.
They are playing the most talented teams in South Africa, Argentina and Argentina.
And as we saw in Brazil, Nigeria has been able to beat the best teams on paper.
In the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup against Colombia, the Nigeria players put on a display that showed they are not just the best in the continent.
After scoring a brace in the second half, Ghana’s Shaka Smart scored a penalty that was waved off by referee Jerome Garces, who said Smart had not been penalized for a foul.
But Smart’s goal set the tone for the rest of the match.
“It was a wonderful goal,” Smart told reporters afterward.
“The most important thing to do is to be calm and to stay calm and be a team player,” Smart said.
“We can score the goals.
We can score goals, but we are not afraid of a penalty.
We are the team.”
In the group phase of the 2019 World Cup , Nigeria defeated South Korea, Japan and the United States in six matches.
And in the knockout stages, Nigeria defeated Belgium and the Netherlands to advance to the quarterfinals.
And the United Kingdom has already defeated Nigeria twice in the round of 16.
But the United Arab Emirates has beaten Nigeria twice and the U-20 World Cup squad will play the United Nations in December.
So while the U’s World Cup hopes have dimmed, Nigeria’s are still in a strong position to make it to the semifinals of the tournament.
And that’s a good thing, too.
In a world where everyone is looking to win, the only way to do that is to take care of business.