Monday, November 14, 2016

14 November 2009 - Martins Flips The Switch For Nigeria

On 14 November 2009, an 81st-minute goal from Obafemi Martins sent Nigeria to the 2010 World Cup. 

It was the last day of qualification in Africa's Group B, which opened with Nigeria trailing Tunisia by two points for the group's sole spot in the tournament. Tunisia were away at Mozambique, while Nigeria traveled to Kenya.

The half-time scores favored Tunisia, who were holding Mozambique to a scoreless draw while Nigeria had fallen behind in their match, 1-0. Quick second-half goals from Martins (60') and his teammate Yakubu Ayegbeni (64'), put the Super Eagles in the driver's seat, but Kenyan striker Allan Wanga brought the hosts level in the 77th minute, which shifted the advantage back to Tunisia.

But Martins' second strike of the day again switched the positions at the top of the Group B table, a result secured with an 83rd-minute goal from Mozambique striker Dário Monteiro. With Nigeria's 2-3 victory and Tunisia's 1-0 loss, the Super Eagles finished one point ahead in the standings and advanced to the World Cup.

Unfortunately, their good fortune ended there and they were eliminated in the tournament's first round with losses to Argentina (1-0) and Greece (2-1) and a 2-2 draw with South Korea.

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