Saturday, December 7, 2013

Players Sweating as Nigeria Prepares....

This is the time when players hope to make their country's World Cup squad. For Nigeria, it is not different. Not only are players praying and hoping, agents are working overtime to get their clients invitations to the national team. Thus, in the last few weeks and in the coming months many names will be put forward as viable candidates to be invited to the Super Eagles. Unfortunately, only 23 will make the squad going to Brazil. In this piece, I point to players (besides their names are the number of current appearances for Nigeria) that fall under different SWEAT categories. By sweat we mean those players who are duly hoping to be the squad but do not hold the position of the Mikel Obis, Victor Moses, or Godfrey Oboabona who are certain of going to Brazil bar injuries.

This is strictly my opinion and feel free to respond and tell me what you think.


These are players who at one time or the other were key players of the squad or were very close to becoming key players but must now be considered in danger of not making it to Brazil unless they put in stunning performances going forward. Below are my top four in this category.

1. Gabriel Reuben (10)
2. Sunday Mba (21)
3. Bright Dike (2)
4. Fegor Ogude (17)


These players are yet to be called up by Coach Keshi in spite of public pressure to do so. The clock is ticking and the question is how much chance do they have? I think only between 10-15% chance to get in. The top three are listed below.

1. Imoh Ezekeil (0)
2. Lukman Haruna (7)
3. Kelechi Iheanacho (0)


In spite of media rhetoric by Keshi, I think each of these players have less than 10% chance of getting an invitation to the World Cup squad.

1. Joseph Yobo (93)
2. Peter Odemwingie (58)
3. Sone Aluko (2)
4. Ikechukwu Uche (45)
5. Taye Taiwo (55)
6. Chinedu Obasi (22)
7. Kalu Uche (34)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Brazil 2014: The Draw and Nigeria's Potential......

Nigeria has to look forward to a potentially successful World Cup after the World Cup draws took place in Brazil. Nigeria has been grouped to play against Argentina, Bosnia, and Iran. It is not an easy group by any means. The question in most people’s mind is why Argentina again? Nigeria has now been placed in the same group as  Argentina in four of five World Cups that Nigeria qualified.  Hey, what is the probability of such a draw? While Nigeria has lost on three of those occasions, there is always a first time.  Brazil might be the first time especially since Nigeria does not get to meet the Argentines until the last group game.

In any case, Nigeria as Africa’s champions must be confident that it can play well against any team in the World. Importantly, the current Nigerian team has demonstrated its ability to compete on the field of play against some of the best teams in the World. Thus, Nigerians must look to the 2014 World Cup with hope.

Record-wise, Nigeria’s last two outings at the World Cup were dismal with group elimination in both 2002 and 2010. The 2010 finals was very disheartening because Nigeria was in a Group where it was indeed, at least on paper, a reasonable expectation that the team will reach the elimination rounds. Moreover, the team hired the much-touted Swedish Coach Lars Lagerback after telling the world that the team needed a “World Class” coach because Shuaibu Amodu who had led the team throughout the qualifiers was “not good enough.” Unfortunately, Nigeria collapsed under the leadership of Lagerback. Hopefully, the Nigerian sports administrators will not make the same mistake again – being conned by the search for a “World Class” coach with a magical wand that only exists in dreams but not reality. It takes time to build a competitive team and an overnight fix leads to no where.

In any case, Nigeria must look to do better than its outings in 1994 and 1998 when the team won its group but failed to advance beyond the second round. Certainly, this current team has the ability to advance beyond those two performances. It will not be easy but no one ever stated that the World Cup is easy. The reality is that Nigeria is the best African team in this tournament and this is the stage to underline this pedigree. Coach Stephen Keshi has made monumental progress with this team but his place in history will be duly judged by what he does in Brazil. If he is to become Nigeria’s most famous coach then he has to take the team beyond the 1994 and 1998 records. Without it then he cannot be considered Nigeria’s best. It is that simple.

There will be several Nigerian records that the team should look forward to eclipsing. Already Nigeria has now gone 28 games and counting without losing a World Cup qualifying game. That is an outstanding record. Nigeria’s last loss was away to Angola on June 20 of 2004. However, in the World Cup there are a few records awaiting. Not just going beyond the second round, but also number of World Cup minutes by a player which goalie Enyeama may accomplish if Nigeria plays at least four games in Brazil. Enyeama is perhaps the only starter with any World Cup experience. The other player is Obinna Nsofor who is likely going to play a reserve role and he has less than 90 minutes experience compared to Enyeama’s 360 minutes. The current Nigerian record is held by Peter Rufai at 750 minutes. Can the team do this in a group that also has Argentina, Bosnia, and Iran? That is the ultimate question.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NIgeria Finally Head for Brazil 2014....

Nigeria reached the 2014 World Cup finals with a routine-like win over Ethiopia in Calabar. The game provided us with an opportunity to closely look at the Nigerian team. Unfortnately, this game may not have been Nigeria at its best considering the circumstance where it started with a foot already in the World Cup finals after wining last month in Addis Ababa 2-1. Nevertheless, here is my interpretation of the game in Calabar.
THE GAME: Nigeria controlled most of the game with its ball possession display and some revealing passes that presented several opportunities early on. However, it must be said that the fact that Nigeria was hardly troubled may have been due to Ethiopia’s tactics where only Saladin was left up front until the opening goal when Mekele was further advanced in search of goals. With Saladin alone up top, Ethiopia sought to cut off Nigeria’s wide defenders rampaging upfront with long balls. However, with Nigeria’s central defense at home, Saladin had difficult choices. He often drifted left behind Efe Ambrose (the most aggressive defender going forward) but he had two choices – one, technically outwit the central defenders or hope other Ethiopians could quickly join him. None of those two occurred and the best Saladin could earn was an occasional corner kick. On the other hand, Mekele presented problems with his speed and had opportunities. A big one was after 53 minutes when he outran Omeruo but Enyeama was quick off his lines to deny. Besides those, Nigeria was in control and recovered the ball quickly with pressure that forced Ethiopia into several passing mistakes. Ethiopia’s pressure on the ball was amply dealt with by Nigeria (a major difference compared to how Nigeria had difficulty early in Addis Ababa). This time, Nigeria protected the ball well and forced Ethiopia into crude tackles and shirt tugging in desperate search for the ball. Nigeria’s attack was aggressive early on with passes through the defense and the wide forwards swinging crosses in. One must add that Ethiopia had a few penalty claims and perhaps if the referee that was in charge in Nigeria’s recent game in Amman was on duty in Calabar, Ethiopia may have had a penalty call go its way. 
PLAYER RATING (Scale 1-5): Enyeama 3 (An average day. Called to save on few occasions and he did) – Efe Ambrose 4 (Was impactful going forward in the opening half but tailed off much later), Omeruo 3 (Good opening half but was questioned for pace in the second and a clumsy tackle in the second was right on the 18 yard box), Oboabona 3.5 (steady display in defense), Echiejile 3 (Average display and was cut out a few times) – Onazi 4 (Impactful all day), Mikel 3.5 (Steady display and made a few eye-popping passes deep), Ideye 2.8 (was active early but significantly faded as the game went on) – Musa 3 (Displayed his usual pace, good decision on a quick throw early that almost led to a goal but his crosses were not always visionary), Emenike 3 (Average game and faded as the game went on), Moses 3.2 (Dangerous going forward early but his ball recovery instincts is an issue).
-- Egwuekwe 2.8 (Did not see much. Average and was clumsy in one tackle deep in the box), Mba 2.5 (Looked like trying to do much and lost balls in traffic), Nsofor 3 (Great freekick goal but then crumbled on a muscle problem late and did not do much).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Age at U-17 Level and Mystery Statistics....

Nigeria has faced a fair share of age cheating allegations during FIFA Youth tournaments, at least until the era of MRI tests for U-17 players. FIFA introduced the MRI test in 2009 and claims that it is 99% accurate in identifying players who should be eligible at the U-17 level.

What we do here is to test if the date of birth (DOB) reported by Nigeria's U-17 squads show a difference between the pre-MRI era and the post-MRI era. We are able to locate squad lists at FIFA tournaments or at the African Youth tournament in order to compare.

What do we seek to find? Possibly, that cheating players in Nigeria (during pre-MRI era) report DOBs closer to FIFA cutoff date (i.e. First quarter of the year) in attempt to explain physical development that is more advanced than their teammates. This would be an anomaly since players of all ages in Africa undergo similar development with very little effect of age at the unorganized stages which may last till most players are close to 17. Thus, a more realistic distribution should be one where there is very little cluster. In Western countries player selection tend to favor those born close to cutoff dates and eliminate those that are not at earlier ages primarily because of early participation in organized play. Thus, a cluster of DOBs near cut off dates is expected in Western countries.

We repeat that in post-MRI era, with assumption of less cheating, one should expect a scattered distribution of DOBs among African players reflecting real conditions of the African game and player development.

What we found is astonishing. Here are the key notes: (1) Most players regardless of year of birth reported DOBs in last quarter of the year (4Q below) instead of the first quarter (1Q below) close to FIFA's cutoff date as hypothesized, (2) There is an unexpected significant number of players reporting DOBs that were in later years after FIFA cutoff date (Substract number in parentheses below from those not in parentheses), (3) The phenomenon found in #1 does not change even when only players born in the cutoff year are analyzed (Numbers in parenthesis), and (4) The phenomenon does not show any difference between pre-MRI (Blue) and post-MRI era (Green).

Squad                 1Q                    2Q                  3Q               4Q
2003                   5(2)                  6(2)                 2(2)             7(1)
2007                   3(0)                  0(0)                 4(3)             14(13)

2009                   4(0)                  2(1)                 3(1)             12(10)
2013                   1(1)                  4(1)                 6(3)             10(6)

NOTE: Numbers in parenthesis represent only those born in the FIFA cutoff year.

What is the possible explanation for this befuddling result? Note that other studies find similar results but are unable to advance an explanation. For instance, a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found strong age effects in FIFA youth competitions with DOBs clustering around the cutoff dates based on player selection process identified above. Importantly, other studies found that the type of distribution found in DOBs of Nigerian squad players is an anomaly present only in squads of West African countries and these countries also report use of more underage players (i.e players younger than 17) than any where else in the world.

Given that Nigerian football administrators, the Nigerian media, and FIFA have periodically confirmed Nigeria's use of overage players in FIFA youth tournaments, we assume the prevalence of age cheating. However, age cheating is a tangential interest here. Instead, the focus is explaining why DOBs reported by Nigerian players cluster in the last quarter of the year and why there is a significant number that report DOBs years further from FIFA cut off date.

The only meaningful explanation for this unexpected cluster of DOBs is motivation to attract scouts from professional clubs in Europe. We are aware from several reports that: (1) Nigerian players' main goal is a European professional contract, (2) European clubs seek to sign young and not old players from developing regions, (3) there is confirmation of age cheating among young Nigerian footballers, (4) there are reports of easy access to international passport alterations and these passports are primary identification documents for players at FIFA tournaments.

The points above represent plausible explanation why players' DOB cluster around the last quarter of the year in order to obtain age advantages as much as possible. Further, the significant occurrence of reported DOBs years further from FIFA cut off date is another option available for players seeking attention of scouts. In essence, the motivation is not only to claim a later year of birth but also a later date of birth.

**To learn more about Nigerian soccer statistics checkout CHUKASTATS at books.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nigeria with a Foot in Brazil After 2-1 win in Addis.....

Nigeria’s 2-1 win over Ethiopia in Addis Ababa  provides Nigeria an advantaged position on the road to Brazil 2014. However, it took several twists and turns to create a riveting story all on its own. In the end, the 2-1 win was barely deserved but it demonstrated the spirit of an African champion. Below, I provide my review of the game.

Background: The game was on a soggy field and late afternoon heat in a high altitude environment that created difficult conditions particularly for Nigeria. But even Ethiopians took a water break after just 30 minutes. Difficult circumstances, indeed.

The Game and Tactical Issues: Nigeria attempted to slow the pace of the game early mindful of the altitude and the heat. On the other hand, Ethiopia pressured the ball with the sole purpose of disallowing Nigeria any space with the ball and also upping the tempo of the game mindful of their advantage under the climatic conditions. Of course, the focus of this tactic was Nigeria’s midfield maestro Mikel Obi who suffered several harsh challenges in the middle. Nigeria was second best as the tactical battle ranged early in the game as Ethiopia forced Nigeria into numerous passing errors as Nigeria sought  unsuccessfully to maintain possession. More troubling to Nigeria as well was the condition of the field, which appeared heavy and slippery. Nigeria was lucky to survive the opening half with a 0-0 tie, particularly after a controversial decision when the referee did not give a goal as the ball arguably crossed the line before Oboabona scurried it to safety. 

The second half appeared to be  a re-run of the opening half with the Nigerian technical bench appearing to wait until midway before making its substitutions in order to counter the altitude. This made sense as the starting eleven was well rested at the half and substituting very early would have been counter productive. But Nigeria was forced to put its plan into play early after the Camerounian referee gave a controversial goal in the 56th minute ruling that a high ball crossed the line before Enyeama caught the ball. Nigeria had to make two quick substitutions to energize the team for a final run to secure at least a draw. This changed the game as Ethiopia switched to relying on a counter hoping to protect its lead. But the refereeing controversy was not over. The referee ignored a clear foul on Musa inside the box as Musa appeared headed for goal in the 76th minute. Then on the penalty that won the game for Nigeria, the rule is clear – the defender should have certainly been sent off. Instead, the referee produced a caution.

Rating Nigerian players (1-5 scale): 
Enyeama 4 – He produced great goalkeeping on the day except for the error of misjudging a high ball that led to  Ethiopia’s goal. He produced confidence and several saves when tested. 
Ambrose Efe 2 – Efe made several poor decisions with passes and was AWOL on several occasions particularly in the first half. 
Egwuekwe 3 – He was assured defensively at times with his clearances but had wayward passes out of defense.  Additionally,  he makes errors that make you wonder with poor contact on a few headers. 
Oboabona 5 – Outstanding all day. He has not played much for his club but did not miss a beat for Nigeria. He scurried a ball to safety on the line in the opening half. Then he dispossessed Sahdin Said deep in Nigeria’s box in the second half.
Echiejile 3 – Echiejile was anonymous in the game for long stretches and put up an average day in the office. 
Onazi  3.5 – He was energetic as always but was already panting after just five minutes because of the conditions. Made wayward passes at times. 
Mikel Obi 3.5 – This was not his usual day. Ethiopians made sure he felt the tackles and he was repeatedly caught in possession. Made one sublime pass that set Musa free on goal in the second half. 
Oduamadi 2 – Largely anonymous and clumsily missed a first half chance when a cross came his way in the opening half. 
Ahmed Musa 3.5 – Musa was dangerous on the day as is usual with his speed. He was denied a goal when he slammed a chance against the post and was then denied a penalty after finding his way past defenders. 
Emenike 4 – Matched a Nigerian record with at least a goal in five consecutive games. He was constantly dangerous and took the first goal well with a vicious shot from outside the box and took the penalty well after being fouled on way to goal. However, he appeared lost on a few occasions early in the second half. 
Moses 2.5 – Moses was also a victim of some harsh tackles and appeared to avoid physical challenges. He provided some good moments but failed to take a one-and-one opportunity in the second half before he was replaced. 
Igiebor 3 – Igiebor added energy to the team when he joined the fray and was defensively notable as a midfielder. 
Ideye 2.5 – Ideye also brought energy to the team but not much else as he spent time helping shore the middle. 
Technical Team 4 – The team had the players playing at a slower pace than usual. This was an excellent move considering the conditions. Then they made substitutions at the right moment to counter the altitude and bring more energy into the team. Importantly, moving a tired but important player like Mikel Obi up while using more energetic players in the middle late not only shored up the middle but left on the field a player who has the most ability to create for others.

Looking Forward: Of course, Nigeria is now in the driver’s seat on all accounts. Ethiopia must come out to play in Nigeria in November. Even a 1-0 win in Nigeria for Ethiopia will not be good enough and they must attack in hostile territory. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ethiopia and Last Barrier on Road to Brazil

Addis Ababa -- There are far more thorns on the road to the World Cup in Brazil than many Nigerians may think. On paper, Nigeria should overcome Ethiopia. After all, Nigeria has higher profile players,  better talents, and pedigree. However, let the truth be told -- the game in Addis Ababa on October 13 will be more challenging than most Nigerians expect.  We believe each factor below will help decide the game as no one factor ever decides a soccer game. Here we go:

1. The Altitude -- There has been much written on the importance of altitude in international games and this is a real advantage for the Ethiopians (2400 meters above sea level). Ordinarily, teams counter an altitude disadvantage by arriving early but this is impossible as Nigerian players are mostly playing overseas and will not be assembled to make it to Addis Ababa in time to overcome the altitude. Thus, Nigeria will employ the alternative strategy of arriving just a  day before the game and leaving right after. However, this will put pressure on Nigeria planning a hitch-free trip because if anything goes wrong with the planned charter flight then Nigeria may be faced with arriving too late for players to have a needed rest before the start of the game.

2. The Opponent -- The reality is Ethiopia has changed in the last two years and has steadily improved as was demonstrated at the Nations Cup except in the odd game against Burkina Faso and was demonstrated in its recent progress in the World Cup qualifiers where it overcame a forfeited game.  Ethiopia has supreme confidence particularly at home and with a large home crowd egging them on. However, Nigeria is also much improved and is currently African champion team and is demonstratively better than the Ethiopians.

3. Team Preparation -- Ethiopia would have been in camp for two weeks training under game condition compared to an extremely short preparation time for Nigeria. Ethiopia will have a decided advantage on endurance with its long term training at high altitude whereas Nigeria may end up huffing and puffing particularly if Nigeria has to chase this game early. Ethiopia has the edge on preparation factor but how much of this preparation can compensate for the fact that Nigeria is the team with better players and the tag of African champion?

4. The Game Day Psychology -- Nigeria may unwittingly underrate its opponent and thus stand at a psychological disadvantage. The media prediction of a Nigerian victory and outright celebration by Nigeria after the draw was announced, point to the likelihood that Nigeria may believe that all it has to do is show up and win. If that is the case then expect a big shocker. Fortunately, Nigeria's coach Keshi is a consummate professional who will prepare players adequately and psychologically for this game. This is perhaps, the most important factor -- more important than altitude, game time, and team tactics!

5. Team Tactics -- Nigeria is a ball possession team that has used quick counters as well. Additionally, Nigeria pressures in two thirds of the field during the ball recovery phase of the game. However, because of the fact that the game is played mid afternoon and in high altitude, Nigeria may have to pace itself, reduce designated ball pressure areas, and rely more on counters than is usual. Ethiopia, on the other hand, would look to win this game and play for a draw in Nigeria. Thus, Ethiopia which also relies on ball possession with crosses into Saladin, is more likely to take the initiative in much of this game especially in the second half. Alternatively, Ethiopia may choose to control the middle and rely on crosses and set pieces without unduly exposing their area to Nigeria's quick counters. However, trying to control the middle against Nigeria will be difficult particularly with Onazi and Mikel Obi holding fort in the middle.

6.  History -- The teams have met 10 times with Nigeria winning six and losing three. However, and more importantly, only one of those Nigerian wins came in Addis Ababa! Even then, that victory came in an exhibition game marking the Silver Jubilee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1983. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has reigned over Nigeria by winning three of five games, including a 4-1 hiding in an international friendly on May 28 in 1992.

In Addis Ababa                                                             In Nigeria

May 4, 1968 - Ethiopia 1 Nigeria 0                   April 20, 1968 - Nigeria 3 Ethiopia 1
April 29, 1983 - Ethiopia 0 Nigeria 1                July 24, 1993 - Nigeria 6 Ethiopia 0 (ANCQ)
May 28, 1992 - Ethiopia 4 Nigeria 1                 March 27, 2011 - Nigeria 4 Ethiopia 0 (ANCQ)
April 11, 1993 - Ethiopia 1 Nigeria 0  (ANCQ)          
June 5, 2011 - Ethiopia 2 Nigeria 2 (ANCQ)

Neutral Venue

Benghazi, LIBYA - March 7, 1982 - Nigeria 3 Ethiopia 0 (ANC)
Rustenberg, S/AFRICA - Jan 29, 2013 - Nigeria 2 Ethiopia 0 (ANC)

What Should We Really Expect?

Ethiopia has held the upper hand in Addis and Nigeria is currently the best team in Africa. What gives? I would not be surprised that this is a tight game that ends in a tie, giving Nigeria the advantage in qualifying for the World Cup finals. However, a tie will not come easily. Ethiopia will fight as the only chance it has for reaching the World Cup finals must depend on its ability to win this game in Addis Ababa and then drawing in Nigeria. The margin may not matter much, all that may matter is a result that provides Nigeria with an advantage going into the second leg.

**To learn more about Nigerian soccer statistics checkout CHUKASTATS at books.**

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Emenike, Enyeama and the Drive Towards Nigerian Records

When Emmanuel Emenike scored Nigeria’s fourth goal against Burkina Faso last week Tuesday in an international friendly he signaled his approach towards matching a Nigerian record  currently held by Yakubu Mambo. If Emenike scores in his next game for Nigeria he would have scored in five consecutive games matching Mambo’s feat.  Surprisingly, none of Nigeria’s celebrated goal scorers ever scored in five consecutive games. The most celebrated of them all – Rashidi Yekini – had three streaks of scoring in three consecutive games.

Consecutive Games Scoring
                                               Games           Total Goals           Period
Yakubu MAMBO                      5                    5                   Dec 4, 1972- Jan 10, 1973
Emmanuel EMENIKE               4                    4                   Feb 3, 2013 - Present
Segun ODEGBAMI                   4                   7                   Jan 14, 1978 - March 8, 1978 
Obafemi MARTINS                  4                   6                   Jun 5, 2005 - Oct 8, 2005
Sunday OYAREKHUA               4                   5                   Dec 12, 1972 - Jan 10, 1973
Paul HAMILTON                      4                    4                   Feb 27, 1966 - Jan 28, 1967
Thompson USIYAN                   4                    4                  Feb 8, 1976 - March 4, 1976

But Emenike’s march to equal Mambo’s record is not the only record that has been threatened in recent times. The biggest record of all is most appearances for the national team. Joseph Yobo holds the record at 93 and because he is still active, most believe that he stands the chance to be Nigeria’s first 100-game player. However, it must be noted that his 93 game record is disputed by several record keepers. There are some who claim that he has played 95 games and others claim he played in 94. But looking painstaking at the records will show that Yobo has only played in 93 games. One of the errors come from assigning him an appearance in a Nations Cup qualify against Lesotho in Warri on September 8, 2007. However, Yobo was nowhere on the field for that game.

While Yobo currently holds the record at 93, he may not be the first Nigerian player to reach a 100 game mark. Currently, he is out of favor in the national team and has not played since Nigeria won the Cup for African Nations early in 2013. The more likely candidate for 100 games is Nigeria’s current skipper Vincent Enyeama who already has 85 games and counting rapidly as he remains first choice goalkeeper with World Cup qualifiers and several international friendlies approaching.  He is already tied the legendary Nwankwo Kanu in number of appearances. Two World Cup qualifiers later this year and perhaps four international friendlies plus a possible three or more at the World cup if Nigeria makes it would put Enyeama ahead of Yobo with approaching Cup of African Nations qualifiers yet to be counted.

Most Appearances
                                                  Games              Debut
Joseph YOBO                          93                   v Zambia/Mar 24, 2001
Muda LAWAL                          90                   v Cameroon/Jan 22, 1975
Vincent ENYEAMA                   85                   v Kenya/May 4, 2002
Nwankwo KANU                      85                   v Sweden/May 5, 1994
Augustine OKOCHA                 74                   v Ivory Coast/May 2, 1993

Victor Moses, with just 15 international appearances for Nigeria, is already approaching a Nigerian record on number of penalties converted. With three penalties already, he is barely two away from the record held by Yakubu Aiyegbeni. 

Most Penalty Kicks Converted

                                                     PK Goals         Total Games       Rate/Game
AIYEGBENI, Yakubu                      5                         58                    0.09
ACHEBE, Godwin                         4                          51                   0.08
KANU, Nwankwo                          4                          85                   0.05
OJEBODE, Samuel                        4                          27                   0.15
MOSES, Victor                              3                         15                   0.20

One record that was recently threatened was the number of goals scored by a player in a single game for Nigeria. Against Tahiti at the Confederations Cup, Nnamdi Oduamadi attempted to extinguish a Nigerian record of four goals in a single game that is held by three players. Unfortunately, he completed only a hat trick and the record stood.

Most Goals in a Single Game
                                                      Goals                Game                          Date
AGHOGHOVIA, Joseph               4                  v Thailand                      Oct 3, 1968
ONYEALI, Elkanah                     4                  v Dahomey (Benin Rep.)      Nov 28, 1959
YEKINI, Rashidi                          4                  v Burkina Faso               Jul 27, 1991
ODUAMADI, Nnamdi                   3                  v Tahiti                          Jun 17, 2013 

Meanwhile, we have already seen Stephen Keshi set a Nigerian record of 19 games unbeaten streak. That stands ahead of any stretch of unbeaten games during any other period in Nigeria’s footballing history. The second longest is a far 13 games achieved under Clens Westerhoff. After the defeat at the hands of Uruguay at the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, Keshi started with another streak with a win in South Africa during the Mandela Cup challenge. He will have a long way to go to match his own streak of unbeaten games.

Most Consecutive Unbeaten Streaks
                                                           Games                Started                         Ended
KESHI, Stephen                              19                    Jun 3, 2012                  Jun 20, 2013 
WESTERHOFF, Clemens                  13                    Sep 30, 1990                Jan 23, 1992
LIBREGTS, T./BONFRERE, J.          12                    Nov 21, 1999               Jul 9, 2000
WESTERHOFF, Clemens                  12                    Jul 3, 1993                   Apr 17, 1994
O'DWYER, C./GLORIA, O.               12                    Oct 14, 1979                June 29, 1980      

**To learn more about Nigerian soccer statistics checkout CHUKASTATS at books.