- Brown Ideye played a key role for Nigeria at the 2013 AFCON tournament
- The former West Brom striker partnered Emmanuel Emenike upfront
- Nigeria stunned the world by emerging winners of the competition but Ideye has revealed that even authorities in team's camp didn't give them a chance to win
Brown Ideye has recounted what transpired in the Super Eagles camp before their epic quarter-final showdown against favourites Ivory Coast at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa.
The star-studded Elephants led by legendary Didier Drogba reached the knockout stages of the competition having emerged Group D leaders with 7 points, scoring seven goals in the process.
Super Eagles on the other hand qualified as Group C runners-up with just 5 points having drawn their first two games against Burkina Faso and Zambia, but the 2-0 victory over Ethiopia had set them up with tournament favourites Ivory Coast in the quarter-final.
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Nigerians back home had written off the Super Eagles ahead of the showdown as names like Drogba, Yaya Toure, Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Emmanuel Eboue sent shivers down their spines as hopes were lost.
Brown Ideye who had a sensational tournament that year has disclosed that authorities tried to buy tickets for the team to return home before that game.
“We had little argument in camp which is (authorities) trying to purchase tickets for us without the final whistle. As in, we have not even finished the game and you guys have started purchasing tickets for us to return to Nigeria," Ideye told Legit.ng during a live Instagram chat.
“So, we felt like this is a huge disgrace for us as players. These guys are our opponents and they are players like us.
“But it’s how we see ourselves that day. And we went there and proved to the world that names don’t play football. It’s how you work on the pitch. It’s how you turn up dedicated."
Tournament’s top scorer Emmanuel Emenike rifled a free kick into the net for Nigeria two minutes before the end of the first half, but the Ivorians restored parity when Cheick Tiote (now late) headed home the equalizer in the 50th minute.
A late strike by Sunday Mba won the game for the Super Eagles and Nigerians were stunned back home and they went into wild celebrations.
“When we defeated Ivory Coast, we felt like this is it and there’s no stopping us. Nobody gave us any chance and we won. So there’s no way on earth we would go home without the trophy,” Ideye told Legit.ng.
The Super Eagles went on to win the tournament for a third time having defeated Mali in the semi-final and then Burkina Faso in the final.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Manchester United have reportedly joined Paris-Saint-Germain and Arsenal in the race to sign Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi who currently plays for Leicester City in the Premier League.
Before the leagues in Europe were suspended, Wilfred Ndidi's performances caught the attention of Real Madrid and Paris-Saint-Germain.
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