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 World Cup ' 98

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nigeria vs. bulgaria
(Charles Platiau/Reuters)
Surprising Nigeria Moves On
Victor Ikpeba (pictured) shot Nigeria into the second round of the World Cup on June 19 with a 10-meter blast in the 27th minute that beat Bulgaria, 1-0. The reigning African player of the year, Ikpeba had not scored in an international match and had angered his teammates by complaining about their preparations before the World Cup. After beating Bulgaria, he said: "The victory is a great tribute to African football."

WILLIAM GILDEA: Nigeria's One Half Better Than Bulgaria's Whole

italy, chile
(Luco Bruno/AP)
'Super Eagles' Shock Spain, 3-2
In the most exciting match of France '98 so far, Nigeria's "Super Eagles" upset Spain, 3-2, on June 13 when midfielder Sunday Oliseh (pictured, in green) sent a blistering 25-yard shot off the left post and into the goal in the 78th minute. Wearing black arm bands on their green jerseys to mark of the death of their country's ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, the Nigerians looked for much of the game like the team that lost its last three World Cup tuneups. But down 2-1, the 1996 Olympic champions fought back.

From The Post

 JUNE 6: Unpredictable Nigeria Could Be Dangerous

From AP

 More AP Stories

World Cup Highlights

 Second World Cup appearance
 African Nations Champions, 1980 and 1994
 Olympic champions Atlanta in 1996

First-Round Schedule

Day, Time (EDT) Opponent Site TV
Saturday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. Spain Nantes ESPN2
Friday, June 19, 11:30 a.m. Bulgaria Paris ESPN2
Wednesday, June 24, 3 p.m. Paraguay Toulouse ESPN2

Complete First-Round Schedule


Pos. Name Age Club
GK Willy Okpara 29 Orlando Pirates
GK Abiodun Baruwa 23 FC Sion
GK Peter Rufai 35 Deportivo La Coruna
D Uche Okafor 30 Kansas City Wizards
D Ben Iroha 27 San Jose Clash
D Taribo West 23 Inter Milan
D Uche 30 Fenerbahce
D Celestine Babayaro 19 Chelsea
D Jero 19 Reggiana
D Augustine Eguavoen 32 Torpedo Moscow
M Godwin Okpara 25 Strasbourg
M Finidi 28 Real Betis
M Mutiu Adepoju 27 Real Sociedad
M Wilson Oruma 21 Lens
M Garba Lawal 23 Roda JC Kerkrade
M Sunday Oliseh 23 Ajax Amsterdam
M Jay-Jay Okocha 24 Fenerbahce
F Rasheed Yekini 34 FC Zurich
F Nwankwo Kanu 21 Inter Milan
F Victor Ikpeba 24 Monaco
F Daniel Amokachi 25 Besiktas
F Tijani Babangida 24 Ajax Amsterdam

Road to France

Won Lost Tied GF GA
4 1 1 10 4
How Qualified: First place in CAF Group 1
CAF Final Round — Group 1
Aug. 17, 1997Guinea 1, Nigeria 0
June 7, 1997Nigeria 3, Kenya 0
April 27, 1997Burkina Faso 1, Nigeria 2
April 5, 1997Nigeria 2, Guinea 1
Jan. 11, 1997Kenya 1, Nigeria 1
Nov. 9, 1996Nigeria 2, Burkina Faso 0

Facts and Figures

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Population:107,129,469 (July 1997 estimate)
Capital: Abuja
Comparative area: Slightly more than twice the size of California
Religions: Muslim 50 percent, Christian 40 percent, indigenous beliefs 10 percent
Landscape: Southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north

© Copyright 1998

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