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Missing out to Cameroon on many occasions has created an intense rivalry between both nations.
Two notable occasions; narrowly losing out on qualification for the 1990 World Cup and then the controversial final of the 2000 African Cup of Nations where a kick taken by Victor Ikpeba during the penalty shoot-out was adjudged not to have crossed the goal-line by the referee.
Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949, while still a British colony.
The team played warm-up games in England against various amateur teams including Bromley, Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland and South Liverpool.
Nigeria, prior to adopting the national colors of green and white, wore scarlet tops over white shorts and were known as the "Red Devils".
Of these nations, Ghana is widely considered Nigeria's primary rival as the two sides have met one another more than any other opponent.The record is dominated by Ghana although Nigeria has enjoyed periods of success.The most notable of these periods are the early contests during the 1950s, and matches that took place in the early 2000s.The team's first major success was a gold medal in the 2nd All-Africa games, with 3rd-place finishes in the 19 African Cup of Nations to follow.In 1980, with players such as Segun Odegbami and Best Ogedegbe, the team, led by Christian Chukwu, won the Cup for the first time in Lagos.
Nigeria Olympic men's football team won the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, beating Mexico, Brazil and Argentina in the process.