On the 31st of July, 1996, the Spyros Louis Stadium in Athens was packed to the brim. 78, 587 Fans had come to see the dazzling and entertaining Brazilian team which had the likes of Dida, Bebeto, Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Juninho. For the Nigerian team, they had the likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi and Taribo West
The Brazilians had some of the best legs in the world and in two minutes, they were already ahead. Flavio Conceicao’s free kick took a deflection off Mobi Oparaku and sailed past Joseph Dosu.
The Dream team drew level with Brazil in the 20th minute through an own goal by Roberto Carlos after Babayaro had floated the ball into the box.
Brazil went ahead again in the 27th minute when Bebeto scored after Dosu had pushed Ronaldo De Lima’s shot onto his path
Brazil cruised to a three 3-1 lead in the 37th minute when their dangerous trio of Ronaldo, Flavio Conceicao and Bebeto combined well as Flavio Conceicao got his second goal.
Brazil held on to the end of the first half of encounter to the second half when the Dream Team started their comeback.
The Nigerian team was given a chance to score one more goal but Austin Jay Jay Okocha saw his penalty kick saved by Dida.
Victor Ikpeba gave Nigeria a lifeline in the 78th minute when he shot past Dida to make it 2-3
Then came the moment of hope for Nigeria. Austin Jay Jay Okocha’s trademark long throw met Fatusi who quickly released a pass to Kanu Nwankwo who was close to Dida in a tight corner, he then had to lift the ball past Dida and the stage was set for drama.
It was Kanu Nwankwo’s moment of genuis and Glory as he shot past Dida in the 93rd minute to score Nigeria’s winner and what was a golden goal. When referee, Garcia Aranda Encinar blew the final whistle, Nigeria qualified for the final of the men’s football event in the Olympic games
Here is Nigeria’s starting eleven
Joseph Dosu, Uche Okechukwu, Taribo West, Celestine Babayaro, Emmanuel Amunike, Garba Lawal, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Tijani Babangida, Kanu Nwankwo, Mobi Oparaku
Brazil’s starting eleven
Dida, Aldeir, Roberto Carlos, Ze Maria, Flavio Conceicao, Ze Elias, Bebeto, Ronaldo, Alexandre Da Silva Amarai, Junior Oswaldo ‘Juninho’, Ronaldo Guireo
Ikpeba for Emmanuel Amunike in the 46th minute
Teslim Fatusi for Tijani Babangida in the 68th minute
Wilson Oruma for Mobi Oparaku in the 83rd minute
Rivaldo for Junior Oswaldo’Juninho’ in the 67th minute
Savio for Ronaldo in the 85th minute
NGstudents Team Cares…..