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Iconic Nigerian Sporting Moments Since 1960

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Nigeria, in many ways, was a creation of European ambitions. Nigerians had enjoyed and cherished their freedom before the arrival of the British. But they were able to regain it when they attained independence on October 1st, 1960.

After independence, Nigeria experienced some iconic sporting moments that will forever be held steadfast in their history. We are sure for instance that you would have heard about dambe boxing – a Hausa martial sport that many Nigerians play. However, it isn’t the only sports popular in Nigeria.

Nigeria today plays most sports including football, and does a good job at it.
Wondering which are Nigeria’s most favorite sporting moments since 1960? Let’s take a look!

The Top Nigerian Sporting Moments Since the 1960s

The following are some of the cherished sporting moments in Nigeria.

Winning the 1980 African Cup of Nations on home soil.

When it came to the African Cup of Nation it seemed as if Nigeria had a stream of bad luck. In 1976 and 1978 they had attained two third consecutive positions in the AFCON cup. However, in 1980 it would be their year to shine.

It is incredible that this was Nigeria’s first appearance in the finals of AFCON. Wole Odegbami and Mohammed Lawal led Nigeria 3-0 to win against Morocco. But this was not their toughest match. They had faced Egypt in the group’s stages and did not think they would make it. Winning on home ground was a dream come true.
1985 FIFA U-16 world championship title
This was the first edition of the FIFA U-16 championship that was held in China. The tournament took place in four cities Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Dalian. The record attendance was 1.2 million people.
Nigeria was the first champion of the first edition. They won four games out of five. In the finals, they beat Germany 2-0 ensuring they took the cup home.

The miracle of Dammam in 1985

The Miracle of Dammam was the name given to the quarter-final football match between U-20 teams of Nigerian and the USSR. The Nigerian won the match on penalties. The FIFA World Youth Championship was held at Saudi Arabia.
The match went down on football history because Nigeria was the first team to make a comeback from four goals down. They equalized the whole match and went ahead to win a FIFA world cup match at any level.
Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics
The Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics were the 22nd occurrence of the modern Olympics. And they can perhaps be the most successful games in modern Olympic history.

This was the first time Nigeria had won the most medals in Olympic games. Oluyemi Kayode, Olapade Adeniken, Mary Onyali and Christine Opara Thomson went down in history books to make this even the most memorable by winning gold medals.
Other events such as Men’s 4×100m Relay where the men won silver and the women’s 4×100m won a silver medal.

Which of these sporting moments was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (August 5, 2018). Iconic Nigerian Sporting Moments Since 1960. OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2018/08/05/iconic-nigerian-sporting-moments-since-1960/

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