Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Taribo West Recalls How Nigeria Created History On August 3,1996

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Taribo West Recalls How Nigeria Created History On August 3,1996

On 3 August 1996, Nigeria made history as the first African nation to become Olympic football champions at the Atlanta Games.
For Taribo West, the former Auxerre, AC Milan and Inter Milan defender, that 3-2 triumph over Argentina in the final is still fresh in his memory.




"The Olympics in 1996 is one of the most fantastic periods in my career," West reminisces to BBC Sport.
"We had a team that could match any in the world."


Nigeria's results at 1996 Olmypics:
Grp D: 1-0 Hungary
Quarter-final: 2-0 Mexico
Grp D: 2-0 Japan
Semi-final: 4-3 Brazil (aet)
Grp D: 0-1 Brazil
Final: 3-2 Argentina

West says the build-up to the Games, under the guidance of Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere, was ideal despite being beaten by Togo, in Lagos, in their final pre-Olympic friendly before travelling to the USA.
"Before the Olympics, we were well prepared in the USA. We were not distracted by the usual things we encounter back home in Nigeria, where family and friends can come and visit us in camp," he remembers.



"We were in a very remote place and we were very focused on the task at hand. Jo Bonfrere's preparation of the team was excellent."
After their opening 1-0 win over Hungary and a subsequent 2-0 victory over Japan, the West Africans lost 1-0 to Brazil in their final Group D match in Orlando, Florida.


TARIBO WEST

With a 2-0 win over Mexico in the quarter-finals, the "Dream Team", as the Nigerians were nicknamed back home, collided with the Brazilians once again, in what was an epic semi-final.
The 31 July encounter is one that West, renowned for his dreadlocks and robust defending, will never forget.

After going 3-1 down in the first half, with Brazil's Flavio Conceicao scoring in the game's very first minute, the Nigerians were in a particularly tough spot.
"We knew that in the first half of that game, we had played very poorly," West admitted.
"But the key to our comeback in the second half was our extraordinary determination.
"The voice of the leaders came up in the dressing room. We won that match in the dressing room.
"Fortunately, we had Daniel Amokachi, Sunday Oliseh and Uche Okechukwu. It was a big advantage for us."
Victor Ikpeba, the AS Monaco striker who was voted as Africa's top player a year later, reduced the tally in the 78th minute.
But when Jay-Jay Okocha blew the opportunity to draw level, fluffing a penalty with just minutes left on the clock, the match seemed well and truly over for Nigeria.

That feeling, however, was not in the mind of Nwankwo Kanu, the two-time African Footballer of the Year.
The former Ajax, Inter and Arsenal striker scored the equaliser in the 90th minute and displayed uncanny presence, agility and finesse to score the winner four minutes into extra-time, sending the Eagles' bench into delirium.
After such a dramatic victory against the team of Bebeto, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo, which had won the World Cup only two years before, West says the Nigerians were certain they had a golden date with destiny, in the final against Argentina, at the Sanford stadium in Athens, Georgia.
"There was something in our spirit that made us realise that we going to win, although we didn't know how," West recalls.
"As soon as Argentina got the first goal, we were not discouraged. Amunike was able to give us the winning strike.
"When [Italian referee Pierluigi] Collina blew that whistle, I just collapsed on the field and knew my dream had come true.
"My [gold] medal in is the bank overseas. It is something to show to my children."



BBC

24 comments:

James said...

Good to know

Tayan Taylor said...

That was when football was football not these half baked footballers we see her nau,mtcheeew

amanda favour said...

I miss the super eagles of old

Tuscany said...

Back then when we were really the giants of africa.

Miss Ess said...

So memorable

Anonymous said...

Part 2 WNB, how is it possible to remember in clear details everything that happened during such a heated sexual atmosphere like you just described? nne abi nna lie sofry sofry

Anonymous said...

I remembered this day vividly,the streets of owerri were on fire, Papilo,s name was chanted by kids and adults,and I remember it was at night,it was a great game,though I was so young then but it is an unforgettable day.

Ada Nwanbueze said...

Heard he's an evangelist now.

Brown Sucre said...

Because NFF wont take care of them.
If any player should be injured,NFF will just abandon the player like a hot coal,so they are wise now,they do what they can,and then they leave the rest.

SteffySoFynSoFly said...

That was 20 years ago. All we have now are bunch of hungry mofos, with no patriotism. Its all bout the money for. I don't blame them tho, who want to die for a country where its leaders are clueless?

Cynthia Iyede said...

Past glory....They don't give in their all anymore.

Anonymous said...

I remember this day like it was yesterday. First time I ever sat down to watch football from beginning to end. The streets were lit that night, watching through the balcony...my full family screaming and grabbing the iron bars like we want to jump down...so much excitement, people were burning tyres, doing stunts with cars, singing, drinking. One of my best childhood memories.

Anonymous said...

I remember this day like it was yesterday. First time I ever sat down to watch football from beginning to end. The streets were lit that night, watching through the balcony...my full family screaming and grabbing the iron bars like we want to jump down...so much excitement, people were burning tyres, doing stunts with cars, singing, drinking. One of my best childhood memories.

Anonymous said...

Past glory

Iphie dearie said...

Anonymoussssss 14:40!!!!!
We were chanting!
Papilo!Papilo
Ole ndi oforo? Argentina
Ole ndi oforo? Argentina!!!

My goodness,how can anyone forget the way Nigerians went from 3-1 to winning that fateful march?
Football seasons are usually th time my Dad loosens his grip on us,if Nigerians are winning.better for us.

Momsie will be oneside chanting: God of soccer! God we soccer!

Kanu' mom was so proud!

#ChildhoodMemories.

Oh wow,Taribo really change. Comes with age. Nice.

Mao Akuh said...

Life

Anonymous said...

Wonderful time
Abeg look at old man Taribo

Iphie dearie said...

*the
*Kanu's

Anonymous said...

Iphie iwu onye owerri?

Anonymous said...

Taribo West, as a man of God that you call yourself, why can you not take care of your pretty daughter, Okiki Isabella West that you abandoned in Dublin but now lives in London with her mum. Even if the mum offended you, what about the innocent child who is turning 15 this October. Continue you hear, your day of reckoning is almost here. It is a matter of time. Thank God she is a good child who is excelling. To other fathers out there like Taribo West, you cannot reap where you did not sow. It is only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Taribo West, as a man of God that you call yourself, why can you not take care of your pretty daughter, Okiki Isabella West that you abandoned in Dublin but now lives in London with her mum. Even if the mum offended you, what about the innocent child who is turning 15 this October. Continue you hear, your day of reckoning is almost here. It is a matter of time. Thank God she is a good child who is excelling. To other fathers out there like Taribo West, you cannot reap where you did not sow. It is only a matter of time.

Yemi7up said...

That game will forever remain in my memory, it was a wonderful midnight. The Lord of soccer was just on our side. I prayed, I sang, its a miracle working God until something happened and the jubilation on the streets of Lagos was something else. Gates were opened and people came out to celebrate. History was made that year 1996 in Nigeria soccer, the whole Africa celebrated us even Ghana our neighbour declared public he holiday. I pray the Lord will restore the lost glory of my nation Nigeria.

Yemi7up said...

Let her be now or better still stop reading WNB more so some people are good at remembering things in details. Gbogbo Ryan ko ni olodo.

Anonymous said...

HE TAKES CARE OF HIS KIDS PLS

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