Nigeria pulled off an incredible upset on Monday night by beating hosts, Côte d’Ivoire 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-16) at the Zone 3 All African Games (AAG) Men’s Volleyball qualifiers in Abidjan.
Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire both won their opening games in straight sets last Saturday however, Côte d’Ivoire by virtue of playing at home and with the added advantage of having a settled squad as against the Nigerians who had assembled a new team for the qualifiers, were deemed favourites for the encounter.
It was Nigeria that delivered a shocker to the bemused home crowd at Treichville Salle des Sports with an absolute hammering of the star-studded Ivorian side.
Assistant coach of Nigeria’s volleyball team, Elishama Elam dedicated the shock victory to all volleyball players and coaches back home in Nigeria who had invested in the team’s success.
“This victory is not only for the boys in Abidjan but to all the active and non-active players as well as the coaches who despite our challenges prayed for us. We promise to bring home the sole ticket to the country.”
An elated President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod while praising the team for the jaw-dropping victory, urged them to retain focus on their last game against Burkina Faso and ensure qualification to the AAG coming up in Morocco later this year.
“The nation is proud of you because you have shown class against Côte d’Ivoire. I want you to approach your last match just as the way you executed your first and second matches.
“The All Africa Games sole ticket must come back with you to the country because we are ready to make an impact at the games proper in Morocco,” Nimrod said.