Monday, June 13, 2011


Scores in testimonial match  Eagles stars beat Kanu friends 3-1 Top African stars hail Papillo


It was indeed glorious as former Super Eagles skipper, Nwankwo Kanu was ushered out of international football in the presence of a 15,000 strong crowd that thronged the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos yesterday with several millions following proceedings on television.

The testimonial game featured a galaxy of international football stars from across Africa and Europe, who came down to Nigeria to honour Kanu as he formerly hanged his international boots after playing for Nigeria for 17 years.

Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola, captained the Super Eagles Stars team that beat Kanu and Friends team 3-1 in the highly entertaining and fun-filled game comprising of a mixture of past and present internationals.

Kanu opened scoring for the Super Eagles Stars midway into the first half, when he beat goalkeeper, Peterside Idah with a low shot after he had earlier missed a similar chance.

Cameroun and Inter Milan star, Samuel Eto’O Fils was denied by goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu from equalising for the opposing team after which Ikechukwu Uche made it two for the Eagles just before the break.

In the second half, Kanu swapped his jersey to feature for the Kanu and Friends team as they pressed to reduce the tally. Ghanian striker, Suley Muntari’s shot was stopped by goalkeeper Peter Rufai who had replaced Shorunmu.

Kanu and Friends team were finally rewarded when Togo and Real Madrid star, Emmanuel Adebayor scored to make it 2-1 beating goalkeeper Rufai with a low shot.

Efforts by Austin Okocha and Obinna Nsofor to level the scores were thwarted by Rufai who displayed his agility that made him famous in his hey days to the admiration of the crowd.

IK Uche went on to grab a brace towards the end of the game, with his trade-mark rising shot beating Idah for the Eagles third goal.

The Super Eagles Stars line up included Governor Babatunde Fashola, Finidi George, Uche Okechukwu, Mutiu Adepoju, Ike Shorunmu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Peter Rufai, Danny Shittu, Daniel Amokachi, Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejie, John Utaka, Waidi Akanni, Kalu Uche, Ogbonna Kanu, Obinna Nwaneri, Onyekachi Okonkwo and Nwankwo Kanu.

‘Kanu and Friends’ lined up the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Rigobert Song, Stephane Mbia, Jean Makoun (Cameroon), Benjani Nwaruwari (Zimbabwe), Sulley Muntari, Samuel Kuffour (Ghana), Emmanuel Eboue (CIV), Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo), Kalilou Fadiga (Senegal)  Hermann Hreidarsoon (Portsmouth FC) as well as Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha and Taye Taiwo, Peterside Idah, Alloy Agu. Ghana stars Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah were also on the sideline.

The 34 year old and two-time African Footballer of the Year award winner will now concentrate on his club career, his heart foundation as well as his several business interests.

‘Papilo’ led Nigeria to win an historic Olympic gold in 1996, featured in six editions of African Cup of Nations from the year 2000 to 2010 and also featured at three World Cups, in 1998, 2002 and 2010.

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