AMUNEKE: HOW WE WON TUNISIA 1994 AFCON
Posted: Jan 14, 2013
Former Nigeria International, Emmanuel Amuneke recounts Tunisia ’94 Nations Cup experience and submitted that Keshi’s troops can bank on faro fuck fo nick South Africa 2013 AFCON title.
Emmanuel Amuneke is indeed a hero of the Africa Cup of Nations. The left-footed dazzler rose from obscurity to write his name in gold after coming on as a substitute in the final match against Zambia at Tunisia ’94 to score two incredible goals that handed Super Eagles their second AFCON crown, their first on the road.
It was Amuneke’s first Nations Cup finals and the match against the Chipolopolo of Zambia was his only game in that year’s tournament.
After helping the Super Eagles conquer, Amuneke who was then on the payroll of Zamalek of Egypt, hits the limelight as he was snapped by Barcelona of Spain shortly after his Nation Cup’s exploit.
Now an assistant coach of the national U-17 team, Golden Eaglets, Amuneke himself tells the story of how then Super Eagles managed by Dutch-man Clemense Westerhof conquered the rest of the continent in Tunisia 1994.
He also reckons that Faro is Nigeria’s Nations Cup lucky camp, positing the gold medal he won then now occupies a special position in his house in Spain and a source of inspiration for him to go for the best as a coach.
“Remarkably, Tunisia 1994 AFCON was my first Nations Cup appearance,” he began.
“We had our pre-Nations Cup camping in Faro, Portugal, which gives me the great feeling that this present squad under Keshi could go all the way in South Africa because Keshi was our captain in 1994 and knows how we prepared before lifting the trophy.”
“Hopefully, we can win it again this time around because Faro could be the lucky number for us once again”.
Amuneke also reflects on the atmosphere in the Super Eagles camp in the build-up to the success which 1994 turned out to be.
“There was love and unity among the players. There was no class-line as to where one was playing his club football- whether home or foreign-based or where one was coming from. There was mutual respect and we played for each other. We were fond of cracking jokes among ourselves which kept the team spirit alive. Players like Jay Jay Okocha, Finidi George, Sunday Oliseh, Taribo West were well known for making the camp alive with their jokes and there was always an atmosphere of conviviality.”
Casting his mind back on the 1994 tournament, Amuneke admitted that Zambia really emerged as the surprise team of the continent’s big football show-piece.
“Before the competition, Zambia, without any big stars, was nowhere near the equation. Instead, the likes of Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Ghana with their big stars were highly favoured to win but Zambia came up with a surprise and reached the final.”
“This shows that it is not a matter of individual talent or quality of players but the good structure, preparation and plan on ground that helps a team to excel.”
Full name: Emmanuel Amuneke
Date of birth: 25 December 1970 (age 42)
Place of birth: Eze Obodo, Nigeria
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
National Team Career: 1993-2001 with 27app and 9gls
National Honour: 1994 Nations Cup with Nigeria
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