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Football | Afcon

Nigeria: plenty seconds, few firsts

Nigeria may have won the Africa Cup of Nations title just twice, but when it comes to podium finishes their track is second to none in Africa.

The Super Eagles have finished among the top three positions in 13 of their 16 appearances so far: winning the title in 1980 and 1994, finishing second four times, and bagging the bronze medal seven times.

The only exceptions were 1963 and 1982 when they were eliminated in the first round, and in 2008 when they lost out in the quarter-finals.

In contrast Africa's most successful side Egypt, who have seven titles to their name, have ended on the podium 11 times in 22 appearances.

Four-time champions Ghana have made the podium nine times in 18 appearances and Cameroon, who also have four titles, have finished in the top three places seven times in 14 finals.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has a tough act to follow. As a player Keshi was skipper of the side to five AFCON finals, reaching the final three times and winning the title in 1994.

The Super Eagles are currently in Nelspruit preparing for their opening game of the 2013 AFCON against Burkina Faso on Monday. They will also tackle holders Zambia and 1962 champions Ethiopia in their other group games.


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