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Soccer News of Monday, 4 February 2008

Source: afriquenligne.

Nigerian team christened 'Super Chickens'

...after Ghana defeat at CAN 2008
Anger and disappointment greeted Nigeria's elimination by Ghana in the quarter-final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana Sunday, with the Super Eagles now being derided as ''Super Chickens''.

Calls for the sack of German coach Berti Vogts, which had subsided after the Eagles miraculously advanced to the quarters, have heightened in the wake of the 2-1 defeat of the team at the Ohene Djan stadium in Accra.

The shock of an early exit of the Nigerian team, rated the top team in Africa by the world's soccer governing body, FIFA, ahead of the tournament, was compounded by the fact that a 10-man Ghana team inflicted the defeat on the Nigerians.

Ghana's captain John Mensah was shown the red card in the 61st minute, after he brought down goal-bound striker Osaze Odemwingie, but the hosts overcame the setback to win.

''10-man Ghana seals historic win against Super Chickens'' was the headline in the Guardian newspaper, which said the team had been re-christened in view of its poor run in the competition, where it scored only three goals in 360 minutes of play.

The paper also reported that several Nigerians phone in to its newsroom after the match to demand the sack of the 61-year-old German coach, who was hired last year on US$50,000 a month.c

''We did better under indigenous coach. Shaibu Amodu in Mali 2002 won a bronze, under Christian Chukwu in 2004 we won a bronze in Tunisia, under Austin Eguavoen in Egypt we won another bronze, Vogts who the Nigeria Football Association told us is a world class coach ought to surpass the local boys, but 2008 is our worst ever in the history of the Nations Cup," the paper quoted Nathaniel Idowu, described as the Doyen of football in Nigeria, as saying.

The pain of defeat was worsened by the fact that the Nigerian team lost to its arch-rival Ghana, extending the victory run of the Black Stars in their historic head-to-head clashes with the Eagles dating back to 1951.

Other newspapers also reflected the general disappointment with the Eagles' performance.

''Black Stars send Eagles packing'' (Punch); ``Eagles exit Nations Cup with 2-1 loss to Black Stars'' (Nation); ''Ghana sends Nigeria out of Nations Cup'' (Sun); ''Down, out - 10-man Ghana humble Super Eagles'' (Tribune) and ''Nations Cup: Ghana knocks out Nigeria'' (Leadership) were some of the other headlines Monday.

Indications are that with the exit of the Super Eagles, the 2008 Nations Cup is effectively over for many Nigerians.

On Sunday night, some television stations returned to normal programming, instead of showing the Cote d'Ivoire-Guinea match.