Search Menu

Argentina v Nigeria - 2008 Olympics Football Final

Share

Four years after the gold in Athens, another 1-0 scoreline confirmed Argentina as Olympic football champions. In 2004, the match-winning goal had been scored by a certain Carlos Tevez; this year in Beijing, salvation came from above. “Little Angel” Di María flapped his celestial wings and delivered a fatal blow to finalists Nigeria, exploiting an inch-perfect pass by Lionel Messi. The real star of the football Olympics obviously, was the the little “atomic flea” from Barcelona: Messi was not even supposed to be here (after the Catalan club had won their late July CAS appeal), but in the end he was the first player to raise his gold medal high in the sky, his first big success with the Selección Argentina.
.

olympics nigeria argentina Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)

olympics f nigeria argentina Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)

(From Gazzetta): The biggest highlight of the first half, without a doubt, was the time-out given to both teams by the referee to permit them to… drink. As far as we know this had never happened before in an international competition, but was surely a sensible choice given the extreme local weather situation (32ºC with 35% humidity… not too smart to be playing at noon huh IOC?). Needless to say these conditions naturally favored Nigeria more than Argentina, even though the African 1996 champions suffered a bit early in the match and after the “re-hydration” break (when Riquelme & Co. were playing more lucidly).

argentina time out nigeria 1 Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)The rest of the time though, albeit risky, the offside trap organized by African coach Samson Siasia was working perfectly: Messi and Agüero could combine one-touch passes as much as they wanted, there was always one Nigerian defender glued to the Barcelona striker’s backside. As for the work down the wings of Zabaleta, the Argentine full-back was more effective with his forward runs than his crossing, to say the least. Thus, the only “real” Albiceleste chance to make the 1st half highlights reel was a long-range effort by Luciano Fabián Monzón, deflected without too many problems by Nigerian keeper Ambruse Vanzekin. In contrast the Africans were multiplying their runs down the wings, and progressively increasing their passing accuracy in doing so. In minute 34 Nigeria obtained the biggest chance of the half, as offensive midfielder Promise Isaac successively obtained not one, but two crosses from both sides. Alas for his team his finishing touches left something to be desired.

Catching a break at the half, the Argentines tried to “go for the kill” very early in the second, repositioning Messi in a central role in order to make him dictate play better. A move which was immediately going to pay dividends. After two very good chances in minutes 47 and 50 (a spot-on pass for Agüero and an accurate long-range effort, both well-saved by Vanzekin), the pixie from Barcelona struck the dagger deep into Nigerian hearts: executing a perfect pass for Di María in space, Argentina had their first big opportunity of the match and they were not going to miss it. Just like against Netherlands in overtime, the little Benfica winger did not flinch: a chipped shot over the rushing keeper finally but La Selección in the lead. 1-0 Argentina.

di maria celeb nigeria2 1 Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)Knowing the final scoreline, it’s fairly easy to guess what happened in the remaining 30 minutes of play. Nigeria were now forced to push forward in order to equalize, giving Argentina acres of space to hit them on the counter-attack. The match suddenly became very vibrant, and although the African team were taking many risks at the back, they were the ones who obtained the most significant scoring chance. Substitute Victor Anichebe notably, was the most dangerous for Nigeria getting behind two very good crossed by Obinna. The Africans were was unlucky however because in both cases, the deflections of powerful center-back Ezequiel Garay and goalkeeper Sergio Romero on the line denied the Everton striker the joy of the equalizer.

Time eventually came to an end, thus giving Argentina a sweet revenge over their lost 1996 final in Atlanta, and re-confirming them Olympic football champions for the second time in a row. For Barcelona this was probably a pretty good operation as well: their star player will now return from Beijing happy, and all the more motivated to win a few extra pieces of silverware this season.

argentina gold medal nigeria 1 Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)

.

nigeria fa65x65 Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008) NIGERIA-ARGENTINA
0-1
argentina fa65x65 Golden Argentina in Beijing (Olympics 2008)
GOALSCORERS: 58′ Di María (A)
NIGERIA (4-3-3): Vanzekin — Adefemi, Apam, Adeleye, Okonkwo — Kaita, Isaac (70′ Ekpo), Ajilore — Okoronkwo (64′ Anichebe), Odemwingie, Obinna. (bench: James, Ogbuke Obasi, Ambrose, Ezenwa, Olufemi). Coach: Siasia.
ARGENTINA (4-4-2): Romero — Zabaleta, Garay, Pareja, Monzon — Gago, Riquelme, Mascherano, Di Maria (88′ Banega) — Messi (93′ Lavezzi), Agüero (79′ Sosa). (bench: Fazio, Acosta, Buonanotte, Navarro). Coach: Batista.

.

Comments (16)

  1. ARGENTINA hands down with out a dout!!!! messi and aguero and even now, tevez is headed that way!!! with all the skill he must have learned from rooney, hes prolly better, it will be an interesting game, they deserve to be there because they beat brazil 3 to 0, not alot of countries can do that. so go argentina i know you can win it

  2. DEFINITELY, NIGERIA WILL PICK THE GOLD WITH QUALITY HITMEN LIKE OSAZE, ANICHEBE,NSOFOR AND THE REST.IT WILL BE A REPLAY OF THE 1996 DREAM TEAM I EXPERIENCE AND THE PRESENT DREAM TEAM IV ARE OUT TO AVENGE THEIR 2005 LOSS TO THE SAME ARGENTINE TEAM.ONCE BITTEN,TWICE SHY. SO NIGERIA WILL GET THE GOLD ON SATURDAY. NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT.

  3. I think Nigeria will carry the day bcus there have what it take to win the old

  4. nigeria can not lose to the same argentine squad. they have gathered their best and trust me they would like to do it this time. they could have won in 2005 if not for the undeserved penalties against them.

  5. I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT NIGERIA WILL TAKE THE GOLD MEDAL

  6. Its going to be a keenly contested game.the Nigerian side have all it takes to get it, though the weak link being the goal keeper. Argentina have it all, and the Mesmirising Messi needs to be CHECKMATED by the Nigerians for them to see the Gold.On the Overall I give it to the Argentines. Messi “MAN OF THE MATCH”

  7. NIGERIA WILL DEFINITELY NICK IT UP IF THE OFFICIATING IS FAIR AND THE REFEREE DOES NOT FALL FOR THE ARGENTINE ANTICS OF DIVING IN THE VITAL PENALTY AREAS AS MESSI DID IN 2005 AND WAS UNDULY REWARDED WITH 2 PENALTY KICKS. SO ARGENTINA CAN NEVER DEFEAT THE DREAM TEAM WITHOUT THESE DECEPTIONS I HAVE JUST HIGHLIGHTED. NIGERIA HAS BEEN IMPROVING WITH EVERY GAME AND WILL DEFINITELY PEAK IN THIS FINAL WITH THE SPLENDID PERFORMANCES OF THE OSAZES, NSOFORS, ANICHEBES AND THE LIKE.ONCE AGAIN, NIGERIA PICKS THE GOLD AT THE EXPENSE OF ARGENTINA SINCE THE COUNTRY HAS THE PEDIGREE OF LIFTING GOLD IN ASIAN COUNTRIES AS IN CHINA AND JAPAN IN THE 80S AND EARLY 90S.

  8. Friends could u please advice on the kickoff time for the game between Negeria and Agentina!

  9. Friends could u please advice me on the kikoff time for the football game between Negeria and Agentina on Southern Africa time! (South Africa)

  10. i bliv nigeria will win it

  11. i think argentina will win the gold. They have a amazing team, tell me:
    Argentina won to Brazil 3-0
    as one person said before
    how many countries can do that?
    no one.

    nothing more to say
    I hope Argentina win
    and i hope we win the basketball gold
    Luck Argentina!!
    Lionel Messi is the best!!

    Jan from USA

  12. NIGERIA need to be careful of the deceptions of the Argentina. the 2005 unfortunate incedence of deception at penalty box by brilliant but deceptive Messi is still very fresh in the memory of many good football lovers against Nigeria.
    On a good day, Argentinal may appear solid in other games but not a team beyound the unassuming talents and wonderful game of the Nigweria dream team. I had watch the team play in malaysia and I am sure that Nigeria will convincingly sink Argentina if all is fair and deviod of poor officiating that might make it bad. Lets wait till then.

  13. its half time now, Argentina strted by playing fast but Nigeria was able 2ware them down & now Nigeria is holding it down. Technically speaking Nigeria is winning.

  14. its 90mins & Argntina has emerged winner of football gold wth a 1- 0 win over Nigeria. it was a good game, a little slip by d Nigerian defence & that was it. it was a good game especially by Nigeria but Argentina played better.
    Messi was tight. He has a vry bright future.

  15. FORZA NAPOLI VIVA L`ARGENTINA
    EL POCHO DE ORO OLE`!

  16. its Messi olympic….