African players, coaches and teams have made landmark achievements in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup which was hitherto known as the King Fahd Cup.
Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI recalls five of the records created by these Africans at the tournament which is a dress rehearsal for the FIFA World Cup the following year.
1. Abdoulaye Traore – First African goal scorer at the Confederation Cup, formerly King Fahd Cup
Only four teams; Saudi Arabia, USA, Cote d' Ivoire and Argentina took part in the maiden edition of the tournament which was then known as the King Fahd Cup. So each team played two games.
The Cote d' Ivoire national team, winners of the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal represented Africa and thus played two knock out matches against Argentina (lost 4-0) and USA (lost 5-2).
Abdoulaye Traore scored the Ivorians' first goal in the defeat to the USA in the third place match on 19 October 1992 and thus became the first African player to score at the tournament.
2. Egypt – First African team to defeat a world champions the Confederations Cup
In one of the most entertaining matches in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup, African champions Egypt defeated 2006 World Champions Italy 1-0 on 18 June 2009 with a performance to remember.
Youngster Mohamed Homos scored the Pharaohs' goal in the game but the more significant fact was that it became the first win of an African team over a reigning world champion at the tournament.
The performance of the Egyptians, crowned with their win against the Azurri, was widely celebrated even by neutrals who felt the African representatives were unjustly robbed of a win in their previous game against Brazil, no thanks to some spurious officiating in a narrow 4-3 defeat.
3. Nigeria's Nnamdi Oduamadi – first African hat-trick scorer
Super Eagles forward Nnamdi Odumadi joined the privileged list of players to have scored hat-tricks at the FIFA Confederations Cup when he struck thrice in Nigeria's 6-1 thrashing of Tahiti in their first game of the tournament in 2013 in Brazil.
The Super Eagles, champions of Africa after the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013, arrived Brazil rather late but early enough for the game against their opponents at the Estadio Mineirao Belo Horizonte on 17 June 2013.
Oduamadi, nicknamed 'Robinho', scored in the 10th, 26th and 76th minutes of the game while the other goals came from Nicolas Vallar (OG) and Jonathan Tahau (OG), and Elderson Echiejile.
Vladimír Šmicer, Ronaldo, Romário, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Marzouk Al-Otaibi, Ronaldinho, Luciano Figueroa, Fernando Torres, David Villa and Abel Hernández are the other players to have scored a Confederations Cup hat-trick, with Torres the only player to achieve a hat-trick
Torres, Blanco and Hernández are the only players to have scored four in a match.
4. South Africa – First Africa's Fair Play Winners, in 1997)
The Bafana of South Africa won the FIFA Play award in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup held in Saudi Arabia despite finishing bottom of Group B of the tournament.
They are the only African team to have been handed this honour at the tournament.
Phil Masinga was shown a yellow card in the 45th minute of the game against Czech Republic which ended 2-2 at the King Fahd International Stadium, Riyahd on 13 December 1997.
John Moeti and Eric Tinkler were booked in the South Africans' last group game against Uruguay which they lost 4-3.
The overall conduct of the team and officials of the Bafana Bafana were well noted by FIFA.
5. Shaibu Amodu – Youngest African Coach at the Confederation Cup
The Shuaibu Amodu, born 18 April 1958, was only 37 years old when he led Nigeria's Super Eagles to the second edition of the King Fahd Cup which later became the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The onetime BCC Lions of Gboko head coach had the hoonour of being the youngest coach at the tournament. That has been broken by New Zealand English-born coach at the 2017 Confederations Cup, Anthony Hudson, born 11 March 1981 but Amodu still the youngest coach among the African representatives.
Amodu's Eagles' finished second with four points in Group B behind Argentina with same number of points but the
Argentines had a better goal difference (+4, while Nigeria had +3).Nigeria defeated Japan 3-0 (with goals from Amuneke, Adepoju and Amokachi). They then drew scoreless against Argentina.
The Eagles, winners of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, were fourth placed team after losing 5-4 on penapties (1-1 at regulation time) against Mexico.Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN