Star Sixes tourney: Nigeria sent home by Spain in quarters
NPFL By: Collins Udeme | 15/07/2017
Super Eagles legends crashed out of the 2017 Star Sixes after a humiliating 8-1 bashing by Spain in the quarter finals at London's O2 Arena on Saturday.A Michel Salgado's hat-trick, Carlos Marchena brace and goals from Gaizka Mendieta, Luis Garcia and Alfonso Perez Munoz made sure Yakubu Aiyegbeni's fourth goal of the tournament counted for nothing as Spain ended the Eagles legends' campaign in the competition on a humiliating note.The Austin Jay Jay Okocha skippered side who were thrashed 3-0 earlier on Saturday in their final group fixture against Brazil qualified for the quarter finals as one of the two best third-placed teams after finishing third in Group B with three points, courtesy of a 3-2 win over China in their opening game.First HalfTwo quick-fire goals from Luis Garcia and Michel Salgado made sure the Spaniards took full control of the game as the Nigerians struggled to cope with the passing abilities of the Europeans. Alfonso Perez Munoz added Spain's third after cutting open the Nigerian defence with a one-two combination with a Garcia to get on the score sheet and extend Spain's lead. Former Real Madrid man Salgado took the wind out of the West Africans' sails with his fifth of the tournament and Spain's fourth on the night with a long range effort before Yakubu smashed home his fourth goal of the competition to reduce deficit on the stroke of half time. Moments before Nigeria's goal, Rufai limped off with a knock and was replaced by Northen Ireland legend Maik Taylor.Second HalfAfter the break, Salgado continued from where he had left off with another one-two combo to slot home from close range after being left to run into space by Okocha, recording his tournament hat-trick. Carlos Marchena then took advantage of a sleeping Nigerian defense to clip past Taylor for 6-1.But the Europeans were not done yet and this time, Gaizka Mendieta benefitted from the on-fire Salgado to give Spain a six goal cushion, leaving Marchena to complete the rout with his second of the night as Nigeria became the first nation to exit the quarter finals of the 2017 Star Sixes.The Nigerian team paraded the likes of Taribo West, Daniel Amokachi, Uche Okechukwu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Celestine Babayaro, Peter Rufai and other notable Super Eagles legends.