2018 will always be a sports year to remember as a whole regardless of some of the challenges, shortcomings and achievements of the nation’s athletes in some of the competitions they took part in on the continent and across the globe.
Soccernet.ng’s Augustine Akhilomen X-rays some of the key sporting activities that made the past year a memorable one.
Super Eagles’ quest in Russia 2018 / Qualifying for 2019 AFCON
Although many football pundits expected the team to at least qualify up to the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, the Super Eagles led by German tactician, Gernot Rohr, failed to live up to the expectation as they crashed out in the group stages.
The team lost 2-0 to Croatia in the opening fixture, defeated Iceland 2-0 in their second group game before losing 2-1 to Argentina in their final fixture, to end the tournament on three points.
Making a return from the World Cup, the team crushed Seychelles 3-0 in Victoria, defeated Libya back-to-back (4-0, 3-2) before drawing South Africa 0-0 to book a ticket to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Highflying Super Falcons clinch 2018 AWCON Trophy
For the 10th time, the Super Falcons were crowned champions of Africa female football after defeating South African, Bayana Bayana 4-3 on penalties in the final of the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana.
The team, coached by Thomas Dennerby, qualified Nigeria to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be hosted by France.
Nigeria’s Beach Sand Eagles books 2019 World Cup ticket
Despite Nigeria’s Beach Sand Eagles losing 6-1 to Senegal in the final game of the 2018 CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt on Friday, December 14, the team still qualify to represent Africa at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay as African champions.