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Today in 1996: Nigeria’s Dream Team Won Africa Continent 1st Olympic Gold Medal in Soccer

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Today in 1996: Nigeria’s Dream Team Won Africa Continent 1st Olympic Gold Medal in Soccer

On August 3, 1996 would forever be etched in the keeper of African football and even more so for the crazy Nigerian fans who cheerfully celebrated football’s historic first gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. 

Prior to West Africans’ feat at Atlanta’s four-year games, the African had been working to win all sorts of medals since 1920, when Egypt was the first to represent the continent in Olympic Football (OFT). 

The Pharaohs lost third place to then East Germany at the 1964 Tokyo Games, while other notable titles included that of Zambia hammering Italy 4-0 with a famous hold for Kalusha Bwalya in one of the preliminary group matches at the 1998 Seoul Games; and there was also a historic bronze medal for Ghana’s black meteors at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. 

 Also Read: Chioma Onyekwere First Nigerian Woman to Win Gold at Commonwealth Games Discus  

Four years after Ghana’s feat in Spain, Nigeria went further when their Under 23 national team, proudly labeled Dream Team, in reference to some talented players from Dutch manager Jo Bonfrere, took the gold medal in the football with ease in the United States.  

Striker Victor Ikpeba soon struck a lively shot past goalkeeper Dida to reduce the tally to 3-2 and  in regulation time, Nwankwo Kanu popped  up to  level before drilling it between defenders Aldair and Ronaldo Guira for the equalizer. And in the fourth  of extra time, Kanu again delivered the ‘golden goal’ to set Nigeria against another South American super power, Argentina for the Gold Medal Match. 

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My name is Chinaza Ogbachalu, and I am a writer. I have been writing news and opinion articles for five years plus and have always had a passion for storytelling. I grew up in Nigeria and graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with a degree in linguistics and communication studies. I have written books that have been well-received by critics and readers alike. My work often focuses on culture and lifestyle, and I draw inspiration from my own experiences and observations of the world around me. As a news writer, I am responsible for researching and writing engaging and accurate news stories for our online audience. I have a strong passion for current events and am skilled at conducting interviews and gathering information from sources. I am grateful for the support of my readers and am constantly humbled by their enthusiasm for my work. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my writing.