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|Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by milann: 9:12am On Jun 17|
The Nigeria national football squad at Tunisia 1994
Africa Cup of Nations Cup (AFCON) tournament
paraded some notable names that made the squad
a fearsome proposition and are arguably the best
Eagles squad in the nation’s footballing history.
The team came into the 1994 AFCON tournament
as one of the three favourites for the title, which
they ended up winning.
This was after their first triumph in 1980.
Though hampered by the baggage of emerging as
runners-up in I984 and 88, coach Clemence
Westerhof was determined to end Nigeria’s long
search for her second AFCON title and it was a
Grouped alongside Egypt and Gabon in group B, the
golden generation approached the competition with
caution, but the team began their campaign on a
bright note as they dismissed Gabon 3-0 in the
opener with two goals coming from the late Rashidi
Yekini and Mutiu Adepoju.
Their second game was a goalless draw against
Egypt to book a place in the knockout stages.
Zaire were not an easy opponent in the second
round but Yekini’s brace took Nigeria into the semi-
final to face arch-rivals, Ivory Coast.
In what was a pulsating encounter that swung back
and forth, the Eagles triumphed on penalties after
the 90 minutes and extra time ended 2-2.
It was one man against the world as Zambia earned
the sympathy of the football’s global family after its
first team perished on the coast of Gabon during
World Cup qualifiers.
The Chipolopolo drew the first blood through Elijah
Litana but like a rejected stone turned the corner
piece of the building, Emmanuel Amuneke scored
twice to ensure Nigeria smiled home with the
Alloy Agu may have watched from the bench, but he
described the tournament as one of the best
moments in his career.
He told PREMIUM TIMES that team spirit and hard
work were key to Nigeria’s success in Tunisia.
“It was a moment I will never forget as a footballer.
Yes, we came into the tournament as favourites, but
it took hard work and team spirit to win in Tunisia.
“We were one happy family, and it was a time when
Nigerian players were getting to the peak. It gave us
the confidence to embrace our career with much
optimism, and that was exactly what happened at
the World Cup,” he added.
The 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Peter Rufai, Wilfred Agbonavbare,
Defenders: Stephen Keshi, Austin Eguavoen, Uche
Okafor, Uche Okechukwu, Isaac Semitoje, Ben Iroha,
Midfielders: Sunday Oliseh, Mutiu Adepoju, Edema
Fuludu, Thompson Oliha, Austin Okocha, Efan Ekoku
Forwards: Rashidi Yekini, Samson Siasia, Daniel
Amokachi, Emmanuel Amuneke, Victor Ikpeba,
Where are they now?
Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers to man
the post for the senior national team.
We remember him for his panache and near-perfect
reflexes that astounded opposition teams.
Rufai was the Eagles’ No.1 in Tunisia 94. His
ability to organise his defenders and bail them out
in any danger makes him arguably Nigeria’s best
The former Stationery Stores and Femo Scorpions
goalkeeper also played for Dragon FC of Benin,
Lokeren, Beveren (in Belgium). He also had a
successful career at Farense (Portugal), Hercules,
and Deportivo La Coruna in Spain.
Rufai who jettisoned a chance to be crowned as
King of Idimu kingdom currently shuttles between
Lagos and Spain.
Once an ambassador of Remita, he runs youth
football clinics in Lagos.
Wilfred Agbonavbare (Late)
He was tipped to be No.1 despite his healthy rivalry
with Alloy Agu in the qualifiers, but after weeks of
training camp in Papendal and Amsterdam, Holland,
he dropped to third in the pecking order of
It was an enormous setback for the former Rayo
Vallecano goalkeepers as Rufai rediscovered his
mojo to claim the No.1 jersey.
He watched from the bench as Rufai got better with
matches. Agbonavbare suffered one of the worst
racist abuse in Spain after his penalty save denied
Real Madrid the chance of beating Barcelona to the
title in 1992.
Madrid fans chanted racist slurs like, “Negro
cabron, recoge al algodon” meaning “black bastard,
pick the cotton!”
Agbonavbare retired at the early age of 31 and
resettled in Madrid, and worked as a baggage and
cargo handler at Barajas airport, Madrid.
He also had a brief stint as a goalkeeper trainer. He
lost his wife to cancer in 2012 and died of a similar
disease in 2015.
He was the second goalkeeper in the 1994 squad
that Clemence Westerhof listed for the 2006 African
Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
He was one of the first Nigerian goalkeepers to
feature in the Dutch Eredivisie before calling it quits
with active football. Agu is currently under the
payroll of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as
Super Eagles’ goalkeeper trainer.
Converted from a midfielder into a full-back,
‘Cerezo’ was a dominant part of the back-four that
took the Eagles to the 1994 AFCON title.
He combined well with the late Uche Okafor, Uche
Okechukwu, and Ben Iroha to keep opposing
strikers at bay. Westerhof handed him the
responsibility of leading the Eagles in the finals
after injury ruled out skipper Stephen Keshi.
He worked as Super Eagles manager at Egypt 2006
AFCON where Nigeria settled for Bronze. He
currently works with the NFF as a member of the
He was the preferred choice ahead of Nduka
Ugbade, given the embarrassment of talents at
Westerhof’s disposal, and he justified his inclusion
in the squad with his ability to combine his
defensive and attacking instinct.
His one-two pass gave Nigeria an early lead against
Cote d’Ivoire in the semi-finals and kept a
watertight defence to ensure Nigeria overran the
stubborn Zambians in the finals.
Iroha had an unsuccessful stint overseas and retired
in 2000. He was an assistant coach when Nigeria
won THE 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea
and was once on the payroll of Heartland and
Dolphins. He currently lives in the US.
The ‘Gentle Giant’ will be forever remembered as
the towering presence behind Nigeria’s successful
stint at Tunisia 94.
The former Brondby and Fenerbahce centre-back
also featured for Ocean Boys and Bayelsa United
after a successful stint in Europe.
Uche retired from active football at 41 and neither
embraced coaching nor featured in club eventsb]
because of his shyness. He is currently based in
Owerri running his business.
The ‘Big Boss’ is one of the best centre-backs
Africa has ever produced.
Although late Keshi got injured weeks into the
tournament, coach Westerhof opted to pick him
because he was an inspirational captain of the
He was seen whispering and charging his
teammates to go to this kill as Nigeria went to win
her second AFCON in Tunisia.
With a successful career in Belgium, Ivory Coast,
and France, Keshi retired from active football
following a nagging ankle injury and embraced
coaching. He was in charge when flying Eagles
Eagles crashed out of African Youth Championship
in Ethiopia but he was part of the Eagles coaching
crew that qualified Nigeria for the 2002 Korea-Japan
Keshi also qualified Togo for her first World Cup
and handled the Eagles of Mali before returning to
tinker Nigeria to the 2013 AFCON title in South
Africa before leading the Eagles to the 2014 FIFA
World Cup in Brazil.
Keshi died of cardiac arrest on June 7, 2016, in
The former Super Eagles and Iwuanyanwu sweeper
sat on the bench through the tournament, given the
pedigree of other defenders in the team.
Westerhof dropped him from the USA 94 squad.
Semitoje is currently based in Benin and he is into
Popularly known as Sao Paulo by his Eagles
teammates, the former U-17 skipper also watched
from the bench as Nigeria emerged as African
champions after beating Zambia 2-1 in the finals.
He had a short stint in Israel and retired from active
football because of injury. Ugbade enjoyed a
successful spell as a youth coach after he assisted
Garba Manu to U-17 World Cup glory in 2013.
He currently handles the NNL side, Giants Brillas.
This mercurial midfielder was one of the best
playmakers Nigeria ever produced.
He gave the world a slice of his talents in Tunisia
94 and combined well with Sunday Oliseh to propel
Nigeria to her second AFCON glory.
Jay-jay played for PSG, Fenerbahce Bolton
Wanderers, and retired too early according to his
He went into business after retirement. Okocha is
the brand ambassador for a long list of companies.
The ‘Headmaster’ was part of the squad in Tunisia
and he was on the score sheet in Nigeria 3-0 win
over Gabon in the group opening match.
Mutiu Adepoju [PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
The former 3SC team manager spent most of his
career in Spain, where he scored 22 goals from 175
matches. He is the current Spanish La Liga
ambassador in Nigeria and also manages his
Ekoku featured in Nigeria’s 2-0 win over Zaire in
the quarter-final of Tunisia 94 World Cup and had to
be replaced when he struggled to have a single
shot at goal.
Efan Ekoku [PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
The former Norwich and Bournemouth striker once
worked as a commentator for Premier League
production. He is based in the UK and works as a
A fringe member of the Tunisia 1994 AFCON
winning team, Edema was respected for his hard
work and business-like approach to matches.
The former Julius Berger star played his last active
game for Turkish side Always SK before retiring
He lives in Delta and is actively involved in politics.
Thompson Oliha (Late)
He was known as the team warhorse for his tireless
He came as the best replacement for Moses
Kpakor, who quit the scene because of a career-
ending injury. Whenever Westerhof saw danger from
the opposition, he deployed Oliha to keep such a
player at bay.
Oliha was Westerhof’s beloved player because of
his work rate and dedication. Oliha worked with the
Kwara football academy before his death in 2013.
‘Da Bull’ was a key member of the winning side,
and his tenacity and work rate played a huge role in
ensuring that Nigeria emerged champions in Tunisia
and he featured in two AFCON and World Cup
Daniel Amokachi PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
Amokachi won the English FA Cup with Everton
under manager Joe Royle and joined Besiktas in
Turkey and tinkered Nasarawa FC and was the
assistant coach to late Stephen Keshi as Nigeria
won her third AFCON in 2013.
Amokachi is currently the special adviser on sports
to President Muhammadu Buhari. He is also an
ambassador for a couple of brands.
Amuneke scored Nigeria’s two goals in the finals
after Westerhof deliberately confined him to the
bench throughout the group matches and knockout
He took the pressure off top players like Keshi
before the “Dutchgerian” threw the former Zamalek
winger into the fray. He justified his inclusion by
ensuring Nigeria rallied back from a goal down and
later scored the winning goal.
He retired from active football after a brief stint at
Amuneke had a successful career in coaching after
he led Nigeria U-17 to a World Cup triumph in
He ensured Tanzania qualified for its first AFCON in
Egypt in 2019, and he is the current youth coach at
Misr Lel Makassa in Egypt.
The former Ajax winger was one of the finest
wingers that emerged from the tournament.
Although he had a quiet tourney, his contribution
cannot be overlooked.
Finidi George PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
The former Ajax winger played for Real Betis and
was known for his matador’s style of celebration
after scoring a goal. He once applied for the
Golden Eaglets’ job and he currently lives in Spain.
Rashidi Yekini (Late)
CAF adjudged the goalsfather as the dreaded striker
at Tunisia 94, where he scored five goals.
Rashidi Yekini [PHOTO CREDIT: goal.com]
Yekini httpswas on duty in Nigeria’S 3-0 win over Gabon
in Group B opener, scoring two goals with Mutiu
Adepoju on the scoring sheet.
Gangling Yekini also bagged a brace in Nigeria’s
2-0 win over Zaire in the quarter-finals and a goal
against Cote d’Ivoire in the semi-finals.
The former Shooting Stars striker gave in to
depression in the latter days of his life, although his
death is still a mystery to many that were close to
Siasia is regarded as one of the most skillful
strikers of the golden generation, even though he
failed to score a goal in the competition.
Siasia had a successful career as a coach leading
Nigeria to silver in the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
He went on to lead the Dream Team to another
silver in the 2008 Olympics.
The former Nantes and Lokeren striker is currently
out of coaching after FIFA banned him for alleged
He was also one of the fringe players that Nigeria
paraded at the Tunisia 94 AFCON.
Victor Ikpeba [PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
Ikpeba was a part of the Nigeria Dream Team that
won Olympic gold in Atlanta 96. A discovery from
Nigeria’s youth system, he had stints in Belgium
with Standard Liege, Monaco where he was at his
most prolific and won Africa’s best player award in
He now works as football pundit with Super Sports.
Oliseh played a vital role in ensuring that Nigeria
emerged as African champions in Tunisia 94.
Sunday Oliseh [PHOTO CREDIT: Goal.com]
His combative style of football paved way for the
likes of Okocha and Mutiu Adepoju to attack without
The former Juventus and Ajax midfielder had a
successful coaching career with Fortuna Sittard FC
before coming over to manage Super Eagles in
2015. He is a member of FIFA’s technical team
and also works as a soccer pundit.
Uche Okafor (Late)
The former Michelin FC and Hannover 96 defender
combined well with Uche Okechukwu at the heart of
the Eagles defence. Kizito was not as flambouyant
as other members of that team and kept a low
Okafor went into coaching in Texas after retirement
and died in 2011.
1994 AFCON-winning Eagles [PHOTO CREDIT:
31 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by fuckingAyaya(m): 9:50am On Jun 17|
8 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Monogamy: 9:52am On Jun 17|
Best Nigeria national squad team ever
38 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by jakD: 10:01am On Jun 17|
Nigeria was somewhat fair until one nuisance took over.
I'm sure most of you will know the nuisance.
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by kekakuz(m): 10:01am On Jun 17|
Nairaland is only accessible on airtel through vpn. What's happening
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by vincentjk(m): 10:01am On Jun 17|
Back then when real men played football with raw strength and talent.
Not nowadays that kids have turned soccer to something else.
20 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by FalseProphet1(m): 10:01am On Jun 17|
I see the super eagles playing in the final of the 2022 world cup in Qatar, but I don't know if they won the trophy cos NEPA took light in the revelation while I was still watching the match.
This I have seen.
38 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by bluefilm: 10:01am On Jun 17|
That Nigeria Squad in 1994 was da bomb!!!
5 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by BruncleZuma: 10:01am On Jun 17|
The fact that Nigeria misused and abandoned most of these chaps is shameful and appalling...
7 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Nobody: 10:01am On Jun 17|
. Na this wan we dey remember pass
10 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by money121(m): 10:02am On Jun 17|
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by bluefilm: 10:02am On Jun 17|
I have banned nairaland.
I am using nairaland to announce the banning of Nairaland.
8 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by adecz: 10:02am On Jun 17|
★★♣♠That team was the greatest
Nigeria has ever put together.♥♥♥
They were legends✅☑️✔️❗️❗️❗️
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Thanos5555: 10:02am On Jun 17|
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Tbasicme: 10:02am On Jun 17|
Time flies away oh
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by youngeagle(m): 10:03am On Jun 17|
Dot Nation dominating anything good.. Una good morning
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Starboyyy: 10:03am On Jun 17|
These were MEN!!!....Audacious, Intrepid and Clinical
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by kenzysmith(m): 10:05am On Jun 17|
Make we rest abeg! Egyptian team that has won this cup 3 times in a row did they keep singing it to our ears? If for the fact Zambia lost their squad to plane crash would they have won it? Na so una dey hype okocha up and down say he for win world best if he had White skin oga if u deserve it the white people will give to u ask George weah, some silly people said the whites won't allow an African nation to win d worldcup bullshit when Ghana had a penalty against uragruay did they not award it ? Nigeria is not a serious football nation always looking at their past glory rather than focusing how to build our football to standard, the fans in Nigeria league are the major problem not allowing the referees to do their job LMC get their own problem they won't organized a credible league that can create attraction like that of Egypt and south Africa if na big brother ninja una go spend billions but a whole big nation just one world class stadium with Olympic track tueh!. I dey shame for this country. U CAN'T FORCE Me To SMILE
21 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Ibadanpikin: 10:06am On Jun 17|
Without igbos Nigerian sport will be dead.
7 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by ednut1(m): 10:06am On Jun 17|
BruncleZuma:its normal in most countries. All man for himself
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Dproperties: 10:07am On Jun 17|
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by brownemmanuel43(m): 10:07am On Jun 17|
When men were boys, when football was football and when players were players not baby footballers we have this day
Then, their was passion in the game of soccer
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Ikillbrokehoes(m): 10:08am On Jun 17|
I really miss those days, when football was very interesting.
2 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by phemmyfour: 10:09am On Jun 17|
Ekoku was wasteful against Zaire. Firing wide and couldn't take his opportunity
Ikpeba and westerhof weren't in good terms, hence he was unused sub throughout the tournament
Amuneke came to the tournament with injury, he was fit enough for the final and won the MOTM
5 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by theTranslator: 10:09am On Jun 17|
When football was about passion not money
How many igbos are in basketball boxing etc?
And must everything be tribal?
And why is your moniker Ibadan pikin and not Onitsha pikin
10 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Mandela27: 10:09am On Jun 17|
Nairaland don spoil finish
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Olodo24: 10:13am On Jun 17|
My year of birth.
Kanu Nwankwo been no follow? I thought he was exactly same set as Okocha
|Re: Remembering Nigeria’s AFCON 1994 Super Squad by Lifestone(m): 10:14am On Jun 17|
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