Come Sunday, October 9 in the Zambian city of Ndola, Nigeria and hosts Zambia will commence their hunt for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as one of Africa’s representatives.
Much has been said about the close rivalry between both nations. The teams are either talking tough or are embroiled in one crisis or the other. Newslegend.com.ng’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI recalls the past meetings between both teams whose clash in the final of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria triumphing 2-1 in Tunisof the was one of the most spectacular AFCON finals in history of the competition.
ZAMBIA 5-1 NIGERIA (EGYPT 1974 AFCON QUALIFIER, 1ST LEG, 2ND ROUND)
Nigeria’s first ever meeting with Zambia was in the qualifiers for the Egypt 1974 Africa Cup of Nations.
Zambia were the winners of this game, defeating the Green Eagles 5-1 and ruined Nigeria’s chances of returning to
the AFCON for the first time since 1963 in serious jeopardy.
NIGERIA 3-2 ZAMBIA (EGYPT 1974 AFCON QUALIFIER, 2ND LEG, 2ND ROUND)
In the reverse fixture, Nigeria won 3-2 but unfortunately were unable to reach the 1974 AFCON losing 7-4 on aggregate.Zambia qualified for the 1974 AFCON and went as far as the final only to lose to Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo).
NIGERIA 0-0 ZAMBIA (GROUP STAGE, 1978 AFCON)
Both countries’ paths crossed again at the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations. They were drawn together in Group A at the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations alongside hosts Ghana and Upper Volta (Burkina Faso).
After beating Upper Volta (4-2) and drawing with Ghana (1-1), Nigeria held Zambia to a 0-0 draw to progress into the semi-finals.
ZAMBIA 3-0 NIGERIA (INT’L FRIENDLY, 1981)
Both Nigeria and Zambia waited three years before crossing path again and this time it was in a friendly game in Lusaka.
Zambia emerged victors, triumphing 3-0 over Nigeria.
ZAMBIA 3-0 NIGERIA (GROUP STAGE, LIBYA 1982 AFCON)
At the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations, Zambia ended any hope Nigeria had in remaining in the tournament following a 3-0win in their group B clash.
Peter Kaumba, Aaron Njovu and an own goal by Peter Fregene, secured the win for Zambia and also a passage into thesemi-finals.
Nigeria had earlier defeated Ethiopia 3-0 in their first game in the group before losing 2-1 to Algeria.
NIGERIA 0-0 ZAMBIA (EGYPT 1986 AFCON QUALIFIER, 1ST LEG, 2ND ROUND)
Just like in 1974, Zambia stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations, once again hosted in Egyptin 1986.
Nigeria hosted the first leg of the second round tie but couldn’t break down the Zambians with the game ending in a0-0 draw.
ZAMBIA 1-0 NIGERIA (EGYPT 1986 AFCON QUALIFIER, 2ND LEG, 2ND ROUND)
Zambia took full advantage of playing at home as they ran out 1-0 winners in the second leg, to join seven other teams for the 1986 AFCON.
NIGERIA 2-0 ZAMBIA (SEMI-FINALS, ALGIERS 1990 AFCON)
Following a disastrous start to the 1990 AFCON in Algiers, losing 5-1 to hosts Algeria, Nigeria still qualified for the semi-finals where they faced Zambia.
Goals from Uche Okechukwu and the late Rashidi Yekini, gave Nigeria a 2-0 win, their first against Zambia at the AFCON.
NIGERIA 2-1 ZAMBIA (FINAL, TUNISIA 1994 AFCON)
To the amazement of all, a newly assembled Zambian side made it to the final of the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia.
Unfortunately for them a memorable tournament ended on a losing note as they lost 2-1 to Nigeria in the final.
Elijah Litana gave Zambia the lead before a brace from Emmanuel Amunike secured Nigeria’s second AFCON title.
ZAMBIA 2-0 NIGERIA (INT’L FRIENDLY, 1997)
Zambia avenged their 1994 AFCON loss to Nigeria when both teams met in an international friendly game three years later.
A 2-0 win for Zambia saw them record their first win against Nigeria since 1985.
ZAMBIA 0-0 NIGERIA (INT’L FRIENDLY, 1997)
Both teams met two days later again in another friendly game and this time Nigeria forced their hosts to a 0-0 draw.
NIGERIA 1-0 ZAMBIA (MALI 2002 AFCON QUALIFIER, 1ST LEG, GROUP I)
For the third time Nigeria and Zambia clashed in the AFCON qualifier when they were grouped alongside Namibia andMadagascar in the qualifiers for the 2002 AFCON billed for Mali.
In the first meeting between both teams inside the National Stadium, Lagos, a lone strike by Victor Agali, sealed ahard-fought 1-0 win for Nigeria.
ZAMBIA 1-1 NIGERIA (MALI 2002 AFCON QUALIFIER, 2ND LEG, GROUP I)
Nigeria maintained their firm grip in the group following their 1-1 draw in Chingola against Zambia.
Despite going behind after an own-goal, Benedict Akwuegbu’s goal, ensured the two teams shared the spoils.
Both Nigeria and Zambia eventually qualified for the 2002 AFCON in Mali, with Nigeria finishing top of the group.
NIGERIA 0-0 ZAMBIA, NIGERIA WON 5-4 ON PENALTIES (QUARTER-FINALS, ANGOLA 2010 AFCON)
The 2010 AFCON in Angola pitched Nigeria and Zambia in the quarter-finals for the first time.
After both teams failed to break the deadlock in regulation time, the game went into penalties with Nigeria winning 5-4.
NIGERIA 2-0 ZAMBIA (INT’L FRIENDLY, 2011)
As part of preparation for the 2012 AFCON co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Zambia face Nigeria who didn’tqualify, in a friendly.
Nigeria won the game 2-0, their first ever friendly win against Zambia.
Zambia went on to win the 2012 AFCON, beating favourites Cote d’Ivoire in the final.
NIGERIA 1-1 ZAMBIA (GROUP STAGE, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 AFCON)
Nigeria and Zambia met in the AFCON in South Africa, this time in the group stage of the 2013 AFCON. Both sides shared parity as the game ended 1-1 on the day.
Emmanuel Emenike gave Nigeria the lead before goalkeeper, Kenneth Mweene, drew Zambia level.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso went on to qualify for the quarter-finals while Zambia and Ethiopia crashed out in the group stage.