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There is always a huge weight of expectation every time Nigeria enter into a finals tournament, but they never looked themselves at Ghana 08, which eventually cost German coach Berti Vogts his job.
The Super Eagles had a strong squad that was led by veteran striker Kanu, but they never really got going in the tournament, finding goals hard to come by and looking shakey in defence.
They opened up with a 1-0 defeat to Cote d'Ivoire, before drawing 0-0 with Mali in Sekondi.
And it took them until the second half to register a goal against minnows Benin as John Obi Mikel registered their first goal of the tournament after 233 minutes, before Yakubu added a second four minutes from time.
By finishing second in Group B behind the Ivorians, the Super Eagles then faced the home side Ghana in the quarterfinals and looked as though they may pull off a unlikely win as Yakubu put them ahead from the penalty-spot 10 minutes from halftime.
But the turning point in the game came deep into injury-time in the first half as Michael Essien found an equaliser and the Black Stars went into the break with their tails up.
Junior Agogo scored again for the home side seven minutes from time to seal the Nigerians' fate.
|2008 AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS TEAM RECORD|
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