Nigeria may have been eliminated from the World Cup, conceding a late goal to suffer a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Argentina at St Petersburg Stadium, but they certainly won the hearts of their fellow Africans for the fight they put up
In an exclusive DStv screening of Nigeria vs Argentina game in Rivonia on Tuesday, a diverse crowd of South Africans, Nigerians, Ghanaians — and even Russians who claimed to support Nigeria because Ahmed Musa plays in Moscow — rode the highs and lows of the game, which had plenty of surprises.
Nigeria's spirited performance and dogged determination made African fans proud, and gave the Argentines a game they will never forget.
Fans were treated to Nigerian food, music and football-mad ambience. The match saw Lionel Messi open the scoring in the first half, while the Nigerians seemed toothless looking on.
The second half was a different affair, as the Super Eagles clawed their way back courtesy of a penalty from Victor Moses. From then on, the momentum seemed to be with the African side.
Nigeria missed some crucial chances, however, which they would come to rue when Marcos Rojo sealed a 2-1 win for the South Americans in the dying minutes.
Despite the loss, they will leave Russia with heads held high — after all, they came into the tournament with the youngest team out of the 32 competing nations, so the future certainly looks bright.
The fans at the screening had nothing but good words for Nigeria — and urged Africans to rally behind Senegal now, as they are the continent's last hope of having a team in the knockout round.
Senegal takes on Colombia on Thursday, and a win or a draw will guarantee them a place in the round of 16. The match is scheduled for 4pm kick-off, and Africans will be glued to their TVs.