Nigeria - Bulgaria
1:0 (1:0)
† 23

Goals Scored:
IKPEBA Victor (NGA) (26').

Nigeria Bulgaria
[ 1] RUFAI Peter (GK) [ 1] ZDRAVKOV Zdravko (GK)
[ 3] BABAYARO Celestine [ 2] KISCHISCHEV Radostin
[ 5] UCHE (Capt) [ 3] IVANOV Trifon (Capt)
[ 6] WEST Taribo [ 4] PETKOV Ivaylo
[ 7] FINIDI (-85') [ 6] YANKOV Zlatko (-85')
[ 8] ADEPOJU Mutiu [ 7] KOSTADINOV Emil
[10] OKOCHA Jay-Jay [ 8] STOITCHKOV Hristo
[11] LAWAL Garba [10] BALAKOV Krassimir
[14] AMOKACHI Daniel (-66') [11] ILIEV Ilian (-67')
[15] OLISEH Sunday [13] GUINTCHEV Gocho
[20] IKPEBA Victor (-75') [14] HRISTOV Marian (-46')

Substitutes: Substitutes:
[ 2] OPARAKU Mobi [ 5] IORDANOV Ivaylo
[ 4] KANU (+66') [ 9] PENEV Luboslav (+67')
[ 9] YEKINI Rasheed (+75') [12] MIHAYLOV Borislav (GK)
[12] OKPARA Willy (GK) [15] ZAFIROV Adalbert
[13] BABANGIDA Tijani (+85') [17] STOILOV Stoytcho
[16] OKAFOR Uche [18] BORIMIROV Daniel (+46')
[17] EGUAVOEN Augustine [19] BATCHEV Gueorgui (+85')
[18] ORUMA Wilson [20] IVANOV Gueorgui
[19] IROHA Ben [21] KIRILOV Rossen
[21] OKPARA Godwin [22] PETKOV Milen
[22] BARUWA Abiodun (GK)

Coach: MILUTINOVIC Bora (MEX) Coach: BONEV Hristo (BGR)

ADEPOJU Mutiu (NGA) (20'), UCHE (NGA) (43'), IKPEBA Victor (NGA) (48'), ILIEV Ilian (BGR) (64'), OKOCHA Jay-Jay (NGA) (71'), KISCHISCHEV Radostin (BGR) (78').


Match Officials:
Assistant Referee 1: † †DIAZ GALVEZ, CHI
Assistant Referee 2: † †PINTO FILHO, BRA

Match Summary:
Nigeria flag Nigeria

Nigeria system
  1. System of play: Modified 4-4-2 system with sweeper Uche playing slightly back. Oliseh in midfield also engaged in zone defending activities. Attacking players Ikpeba and Amokachi are well supported by Okocha from midfield and Finidi as well as Lawal on the flanks.
  2. Strong points: Technical skill of each player is high. They are also utility players who support each other well. Each player has a repertoire of surprise moves and individual flair. Player look "stable" on their feet. Good at headers.
  3. Outstanding players: West (6), Uche (5), Okocha (10), Amokachi (14), Ikpeba (20)


  1. No deliberate offside tactics.
  2. Mainly zone marking.
  3. Sweeper slightly behind defensive line.
  4. Very good heading performance; jumping abilities and positive heading to team-mates. High skill abilities with control, passing and good, fast switch from defence to attack. Read game well.
  5. Good support from midfield and attack to defence. Late on during second half, missed good timing for defending activities.
  6. Good abilities for positive defending.


  1. Build-up was done through constructive passing or with quick penetration runs with the ball into the opposing defence. Use space well on the wings or finds gaps in the middle. Unpredictable dribbling activities.
  2. Average performance on shooting abilities. Heading and dribbling were stronger factors. Recuperation of lost ball was done quickly in the immediate area where the ball was lost (first half). In second half, they dropped back.
  3. Always support from midfield and defence. Sometimes from the tactical point of view, this was overdone. Leaving free spaces for opponentís counter attacks.
  4. Creative movement in attack. Individual, specific class. Speed up game with strong, quick, accurate passing. Able to dictate tempo of the game.

The team has a good balance from the point of attack and defence. Quickly switch from defence to attack. Teamís performance is entertaining and spectators appreciate this. Substitutes were able to maintain the high quality of performance. Team has confidence in themselves.

Bulgaria flag Bulgaria

Bulgaria system
  1. System of play: 1-2-5-2; playing with sweeper, two stoppers, defending midfield, two attacking strikers. Formation with creative important player (Balakov) who commands the midfield.
  2. Strong points: Experience of the players. Their tactical capabilities in reading a game and ability to slow down the pace. Good physical condition (endurance).
  3. Outstanding players: Balakov (10), Kostadinov (7), Borimirov (18), who came in as a substitute at half-time.


  1. No offside tactics.
  2. Combination of zone and man to man marking. However, man to man marking difficult versus these quick, tricky and skillful Nigerian players.
  3. Sweeper behind defence; sometimes too deep.
  4. Heading abilities were up to standard. Skill of defenders was good. Switch from defence to attack too slow (especially in 1st half-time).
  5. Support from attack was not always done properly. But midfielders did their part.
  6. Defence sometimes played very deep and did not cover each other properly.


  1. Build-up attacks done through two striking players who received the ball at their feet and not in spaces. Mostly through the distribution of Balakov. They tried to use the flanks but the opposition covered the space there well. The factor of surprise came in the second half-time through penetration runs with the ball of Borimirov (came in at half-time) and Iliev.
  2. Heading performance in attack was not a strong point (improved, when Penev entered in 2nd half-time). Dribbling and body feinting was of good standard.
  3. Good support from midfield especially. But defence showed rare support.
  4. The Bulgarian team showed a much better performance in second half-time. More active and positive movements. More penetrating runs with the ball and with better supporting play as a team. Crucial for this improvement were Borimirov (18) and Iliev (11).

Bulgaria played the second half at a much higher level than the first one (totally blocked during the 1st 45 minutes). The movement without the ball had more focus. The players supported each other much better. Created a few good goal scoring opportunities through Stoitchkov and Balakov. However, this did not change the final result.

    Analysis by FIFA Technical Study Group

Nigeria's Victor Ikpeba
PARIS - Nigeria's Victor Ikpeba (20) beats Bulgaria's Trifon Ivanov (3) to score a goal as Ivailo Petkov (4) looks on during their match at the Parc des Princes. Bulgaria are playing Nigeria in their group D match in the World Cup finals. Photo by Oleg Popov REUTERS
Post match Facts and Figures

3 - Nigeria is the 3rd team qualified for the round of 16 following Brazil and France. It is the 4th time that an African team advance to the 2nd round since Morocco in 1986 (eliminated in round of 16), Cameroon in 1990 (eliminated in quarter finals) and Nigeria itself in 1994 (eliminated in round of 16).

316 - Bulgaria has not scored any goal in the last 316 minutes played in World Cup final phase. The last goal was scored by Hristo Stoitchkov in the 44th minute of USA í94 in a semi-final match against Italy. Since then, Bulgaria has lost 0-4 against Sweden in a 3rd place play-off, tied 0-0 against Paraguay last 12 June and lost 0-1 against Nigeria today.

Facts and Figures based upon France 98 results information system and FIFA Archives

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