Samson Siasia is currently in charge of the Super Eagles on an interim basis – a salvation assignment he accepted, following the resignation of Sunday Oliseh. Siasia was earlier in the same job which climaxed with a failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Equatorial Guinea.
In this piece, Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI recounts the coaches that were appointed by the Nigeria Football Federation in the past, just in the middle of qualifiers to major tournaments – on kind of rescue mission and how they fared.
Phillip Troussier – (Replaced Amodu Shaibu During 1998 World Cup Qualifiers)
Frenchman Phillipe Troussier was appointed coach of the Super Eagles to take over from Shuaibu Amodu with four games to go in the qualifying matches of the France 98 World Cup.
Troussier helped Nigeria qualify for a second appearance at the FIFA World Cup, but the then Nigeria Football Association decided to sack the 'White Witch Doctor' and settle for Bora Milutinović to lead the Eagles to the tournament due to the latter's so called experience. Milutinović had the experience of having managed three different nations at World Cup level.
Troussier was in charge of the Super Eagles in the team's 2-1 win against Guinea on April 5, 1997 at the Lagos National Stadium.
Daniel Amokachi scored Nigeria's goals in the 66, 67th minutes while Titi Camara scored Guinea's goalwith three minutes to the end of the game.
In his second 'rescue game' for Nigeria, Troussier took the Eagles to Ougadougou and secured a 2-1 win against the Etalions- Mutiu Adepoju and Emmanuel Amunike were on the scoreshet for the Super Eagles on that occasion.
Nigeria, on June 1997 – at the Lagos National Stadium, defeated the Harambee Stars of Kenya 3-0 in their fifth, Troussier's third game in charge of the team during the qualifiers to the 1998 World Cup.
Immediate past coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh; Emmanuel Amunike and Wilson Oruma were on target for the Eagles in a 3-0 home win against.
Troussier's last game in charge of Nigeria during the qualification to France '98 World Cup was on 16 August 1997 at the Stade du 28 Septembre,Conakry when the Nigerian side were defeated 1-0 by Guinea.
Kadiri Ikhana – (Took Over From Musa Abdullahi. During The 2004 Olympics Football Qualifiers)
Nigeria on 14 June and 28 June 2003 defeated Namibia 1-0 and 2-1 in the First Round of qualifiers to the football event of the 2004 Olympics.
Nigeria's 'Dream Team' reached the Second Round stage and were drawn against Egypt, Tunisia and Senegal.
The Nigerian U-23 Eagles won 2-0 away to Egypt, drew 1-1 against Tunisia in Tunis and lost to Senegal 4-3 away.
Late Musa Abdullahi was in charge of those games but the U-23 Eagles' defeat to Senegal in Dakar on January 3, 2004 was the last straw that broke the camel's eye as the Nigeria Football Federation decided to sack Abdullahi and replace him with Ikahna who had just won the 'elusive' CAF Champions League with Enyimba the previous year.
Ikhana was in Dakar as an 'observer' and watched the Nigerian team he will manage lose to the Teranga Lions.
Ikhana took charge of the team in their subsequent games in the qualifiers against Senegal (winning 2-0 at home on 21 February 2004), Egypt (on March 13, 2004 winning 3-0 at home) and Tunisia (losing 2-0 on March 27 2004).
Sadly Tunisia, and not Nigeria, ultimately qualified to represent Africa from Group A of the African qualification race. The north Africans were joined by Mali, Morocco and Ghana from Groups B to D.
Amodu Shaibu – (Took Over From Bonfrere Jo During 2002 World Cup Qualifiers)
The Super Eagles defeated Eritrea 4-0 on aggregate (0-0 away and 4-0 at home) in the First Round of qualifiers to the 2002 World Cup.
The team handled by Bonfrere Jo were bottom of the Group B qualifying table (Second Round) after two games, winning against Sierra Leone 2-0 before losing 2-1 to a George Weah inspired Liberia on 9 July 2000.
That defeat resulted in the sacking of the Dutchman who was replaced by Shuaibu Amodu.
Amodu was making a return to the Eagles in his second spell in charge after being the coach of Nigeria between 1994 and 1997 .
Amodu led the Eagles to victories against Sudan (3-0 at home on 27 January 2001), Liberia (2-0 at home on May 5, 2001) and Ghana (3-0 at home on 29 July 2001). His team however lost 1-0 to Sierra Leone in an away tie on April 21, 2001.
Qualification to the 2002 World Cup was achieved although the former El Kanemi and BCC Lions coach who had guided the team to a 3rd place finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali did not lead the Eagles to that year's World Cup.
Austin Eguavoen – (Replaced Christian Chukwu During The Combined 2006 AFCON/World Cup Qualifiers)
Former Green Eagles defender Christian 'Chairman' Chukwu was in charge of the Super Eagles and led Nigeria to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations where Nigeria were semi-finalists. Nigerians were then happy with the work of Chukwu.
But things turned on its head in the combined qualifiers for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup.
The Super Eagles were confident of reaching a fourth consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006 but after an insipid 1-1 draw against Angola in the sunny Sani Abacha Stadium on June 18, 2005, the Nigeria Football Association axed Chukwu and replaced him with Austin Eguavoen.
Eguevoen completed Nigeria's two remaining qualifying games against Algeria away in Oran which the Eagles won 5-2 and the 5-1 win against Zimbabwe at the Abuja National Stadium.
Unfortunately, Nigeria could not reach the 2006 FIFA World Cup as the Head-to-Head rules which was used to determine the qualified teams for that year's tournament favoured Angola who consequently made their debut appearance at Germany 2006..
Both teams finished on 21 points with Nigeria having a better goals difference of +14 while the Palancras Negras had +6.
Nigeria made do with an appearance at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt along with Angola and Zimbabwe.
Samson Siasia – (Took Over From Austin Eguavoen During The 2012 AFCON Qualifiers)
The Nigeria Football Federation replaced Austin Eguavoen with Samson Siasia after the former led Nigeria to an ominous defeat in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in Conakry. The Super Eagles lost the game 1-0 on October 10, 2010.
Eguavoen had earlier in the qualifiers overseen a 2-0 victory over Madagascar at the U.J Eusene Stadium, Calabar on September 5, 2010 in the 2012 AFCON qualifying race.
But Siasia was handed the baton in March 2011 and his first game in the dugout was a 4-0 rout of Ethiopia at the Abuja National Stadium.
On June 5, 2011, the Eagles were held to a 2-2 draw by the Ethiopians in Addis Ababa in Siasia's second game after replacing Eguavoen.
Siasia also guided the former African champions to a 2-0 away win against Madagascar, and the unfortunate 2-2 home draw against Guinea at the Abuja National Stadium on October 8, 2011-when a victory of any margin would have guaranteed Nigeria a place in the AFCON hosted by Equatorial Guinea.
The executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), as a result of this failure ratified the decision to sack the former Nigerian international on Friday, October 28, 2011.