Chuka, the Nigerian striker, dashes up to the opposing goalkeeper, neatly wrongfoots him, and unleashes a scorching shot, nearly ripping a hole in the back of the net. It's his third goal in 10 minutes—a rapid-fire hat trick. He slips off his lime-green shirt and runs, roaring, to strike a pose in front of his countrymen. Carefully, almost reverently, he places the shirt on the turf like an offering to the faithful. His fans bang bongos and clank cymbals and bellow right back. But hold on—aren't Nigeria's Super Eagles out of the World Cup, first-round casualties, winging their way back to...

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