Tahiti vs. Nigeria: Confederations Cup Live Score, Highlights, Recap
FIFA Confederations Cup Group B—Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
FT Score: Nigeria 6-1 Tahiti (Oduamadi x3, Elderson, Vallar o.g.,Tehau o.g.) (Tehau)
Nigeria head to the top of Group B after a victory over Tahiti in Belo Horizonte. The Super Eagles stole the lead with a flurry of early goals, before Tahiti achieved the unthinkable and responded through Jonathan Tehau just after halftime.
For a period, the African champions looked in disarray, with their confidence shattered by the unlikely goal. However, they showed their true class, and Tahiti's inferiority was evident, though a late smattering of goals.
Nigeria top the group and the islanders are the competition's darlings, but goals for either side haven't masked their inadequacies.
Look for more analysis and coverage on Bleacher Report over the coming hours and days.
Nigeria: Enyeama, Ambrose, Echiejile, Omeruo, Oboabona, Ogude, Mikel Obi, Mba, Musa, Ujah, Oduamadi.
Tahiti: Samin, A Tehau, Vahirua, Ludivion, Caroine, Bourebare, Vallar, Chong Hue, Aitamai, J Tehau, Simon
Africa's champions, Nigeria, open their Confederations Cup campaign with a clash against tournament outsiders Tahiti. The islanders may be way down in the FIFA World Rankings, but they will doubtless relish the chance to compete in a major international tournament.
Nigeria have had problems of their own since winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa earlier in the year. Coach Stephen Keshi has had long-running disputes with the players and the federation, while World Cup qualifying results have been less than convincing. The team's recent threat to boycott the event in the face of the Nigeria Football Federation's decision to cut their bonuses may have seriously undermined their preparation.
Nonetheless, they will be boldly confident of recording a win against a Tahiti side manned by amateurs. They will look to start their tournament strongly, knowing that Uruguay and, particularly, world champions Spain lie in wait.
I will be covering the event live here with Bleacher Report, as well as on Twitter: @Eddydove
Join me for what promises to be an engrossing evening.
In the meantime, check out some excellent work ahead of tonight's clash:
FT here in Belo Horizonte. Tahiti steal their goal and win many admirers, but the pragmatic fan will be hard pushed to ignore Nigeria's 6-1 triumph
So, how to tell the story of this contest? The African giants in disarray, the plucky underdogs, the partisan yet neutral crowd, the early flurry, the spirited comback, the unthinkable, the malaise, the final flourish, the convincing triumph...how's that?
SIX-one to Nigeria now here in Belo Horizonte. After the disarray of the beginning of the second half it's been a dominant display from the Super Eagles. Elderson fires this one home after another blunder by the keeper, his second key error of the contest.
'75- And there's the fifth. Ideye Brown breaks the Tahitian's offside trap and plays Odumadi for his hat trick--better late than never!
Johnny Tehau undermines his glorious first goal for the Tahitians by putting the ball past his own keeper to make it 4-1 to Nigeria. Ideye Brown made sure it was over the line, but a real shame for the impressive minnows.
'66- Oduamadi's would-be hat-trick goal is ruled off for offside. A tight call, and possibly the wrong one from this refereeing team.
Despite leading this one 3-1 the Super Eagles are looking flat and uninspired. I have never seen a backroom staff looking so glum and troubled during a victory at a major international tournament.
So 3-1 here in Belo Horizonte. Johnny Ogu replaces Mba to give the Eagles another dimension, but the Super Eagles are clearly in shock here.
Sweet Cream on an Ice Cream Sundae...Tahiti have...I can't even say it. A corner is defended so poorly by Nigeria, and the islanders leap high to bag themselves a euphoric goal.
Ideye Brown enters the fray to replace Tony Ujah, who usurped him ahead of the Namibia game...big chance for him to reassert himself up front.
'48- Musa fins the ball at his feet on the corner of the box, but his right footed shot is snapped and flies harmlessly wide.
Back underway here in Belo Horizonte. Can Nigeria keep their composure up front and bag a few more goals, but perhaps more importantly, will Tahiti score the goal this Brazilian crowd desire so vibrantly?
3-0 at Half Time here in Belo Horizonte, Nigeria lead. An engrossing half, a fascinating expression of the mismatch. Particularly considering the pro-Tahiti crowd and the mood of these last 10 minutes
Another massive chance for Tahiti, this time forged from the right flank. Chong Hue heads over after a teasing cross. Tahiti really growing into this tie towards the break...
Tahiti enjoying possession and menace here to close the first half. They are clearly capable, and competent moving forward. Half time team talk may well focus on doing themselves justice....Sunday Mba bursts through for Nigeria as I write this, but slips at the crucial moment.
Tahiti nearly pulling off the unthinkable. Genuine pace down their left, the cross is smuggled away but not before it has struck fear and panic into the hearts of Nigerian defenders.
Oduamadi scores Nigeria's third and we're not even half an hour played.It feels like the rout is complete...but it almost certainly isn't!
Nigeria enjoy a threatening freekick, but Mikel takes it, and misses the target when Oboabona--who scored against Kenya from a deadball situation, was lurking.
Tahiti threatening on the break with pace, while Nigeria have perhaps lacked composure on occasion when through on goal...Eagles searching for a third here.
Already 2-0 here for Nigeria inside the first 10 minutes. Oduamadi and Elderson with the goals. A long way to go for Tahiti...who have been plucky, but totally outclassed in defence.
'4- GOAL for the Super Eagles. Elderson's shot takes a wicked deflection and there is little the Tahitian stopper can do about it!
'3- Nigeria receiving a frosty reception in Belo Horizonte. Tahiti, on the other hand, are being roundly celebrated. Crowd clearly buying into the 'underdog' narrative that accompanies the islanders...
The Anthems have been sung as the final two teams of Group B prepare to get underway here in Belo Horizonte. Will be fascinating how the gulf in class between these two is expressed tonight.
Team build up for Nigeria has arguably centred around those players who are absent, rather than those who are present. It will be fascinating to see how this young team adapts to tournament football without Afcon stars Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses. Kalu Uche is also out, while the loss of defensive midfielder Ogenyi Onazi is a major blow.
40 Minutes away from kick off here at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte. Nigeria will be everyone's favourite to pick up the win against the amateurs of Tahiti, but the Super Eagles ought to be wary. However, a big win could be exactly what Stephen Keshi's team need to blow away the hangover from their recent bonuses row.
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