Sunday Mba's Post-Afcon 2013 Journey; Who is to be blamed?

The last time Nigeria senior men football national team had their hands wrapped around gold was precisely six years ago courtesy of a lone winner from an unfamiliar and unrecognized Sunday Mba.
From having little international football experience with the West African Football Nations Cup as the only traceable success, Sunday Mba was unraffled by the late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi in 2012 as part of his rebuilding project after a scandalous Africa Cup of Nations Qualification failure. With decent pedigree in the Nigeria Professional Football League with curriculum vitae that contains Enyimba,Enugu Rangers, Dolphins(Now Rivers United) and Warri Wolves, Mba's footprint didn't go unnoticed for the light searching and talent hunting 'Big Boss'.

 A debut against the Angolan Palanca Negras ended in barren with Nigerian based professionals the prosecutors while a double in a Championship for African Nations qualifying tie versus Lone Stars of Liberia was a sign of potential spark and 'a gold in mine' which only the Super Eagles Head Coach could associate with. Surprisingly,Sunday Mba made the Super Eagles final 23 for South Africa 2013 alongside six other lucky Nigerian League ambassadors with absolute zero expectations from the people bleeding green and white. In the beginning of the successful journey,only Godfrey Oboabona was shining like a bright sun in the starting eleven but lack of authority from much fancied former Real Betis player, Nosa Igiebor and Fegor Ogude fasten his promotion in the one and one.
A goal each on Sundays by Mba were the difference in the 2-1 Quarter Final victory over the robust Elephants of Cote D'ivore and the lone grande finale strike brought home a third continental silverware against Burkina Faso in front of the mammoth Soccer-citizens of the rainbow nation.

After a continental conquest, the Aba born star surged on to greater and bigger personal journey but his transition to European quest wasn't smooth courtesy of the player's ownership tussle between Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves.

Following the won African battle,the shining Super Eagles' deservedly earned the right to represent the second largest world continent at the gathering of Champions popularly known as the FIFA Confederation Cup that took place in Brazil with the much rated green-light making faded impact before losing his international footballing 'Zenith Competition' FIFA World Cup spot at the 2014 'Samba Festival' due to disciplinary fall-out with gaffer, Stephen Keshi.

In 2014/2015, Sunday Mba finally put pen to paper for French lower tier team CA Bastia with the team relegating to the third tree of French soccer and his ascending round-leather career came to a premature end in 2017 after a two calendar spell with Turkish Yeni Malatyaspor at the peak age of 29.

By Olamide Oyetunji

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