Nigeria's Joseph Yobo (L) is challenged by Burkina Faso's Jonathan Pitroipa in Monday night’s Group C soccer match in Nelspruit
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Nigeria lost out in the last second of the game against Burkina Faso to claim a point. Alain Traore scored in the 93rd minute to claim a share of the spoils and cancel the first half goal scored by Emmanuel Emenike.
The Super Eagles returned to the Nations Cup stage against the Stallions of Burkina Faso and had the early running and could have scored the opener in the seventh minute when Brown Ideye looked in on goal but the situation was rescued by Bacary Kone though it could have been blown for a penalty.
Captain Joseph Yobo made two consecutive mistakes which were almost gobbled up by Mamadou Dagano. The midfield battle was fierce with Fegor Ogude and Nosa Igiebor flattening Bacary Kone and Florent Boumba successively.
The goal finally came in the 23rd minute with a good ball floated beyond the Stallions’ defence from Mikel Obi and Ideye’s back-heeled pass is bundled in by Emmanuel Emenike.
Ogude then got yellow carded in the 24th minute for a foul on Jonathan Pitroipa and in the 37th minute, Efe Ambrose gets the second yellow card of the game for a foul on Bonce.
Ahmed Musa shot through the leg of a defender in the 40th minute but the shot was easily gathered by Abdoulaye Soulama.
The second half started with the Stallions pushing forward and Dagano almost gave them the equaliser in the 49 minute and Pitroipa went down in the 54th asking for a penalty but referee waved play on.
Burkina Faso continued to push forward through substitute Wilfred Sanou on the right wing and Dagano tested Vincent Enyeama on 62th minutes which Enyeama parried for a corner kick.
Ikechukwu Uche came on for Emenike in the 57th minute and should have scored in the 65 minute off a cut back from Musa and after settling himself blasted way off target.
Ambrose was shown a second yellow card on 73rd minutes for a slight touch on Pitroipa. The touch was innocuous at best but the Celtic defender had to walk.
Stephen Keshi brought on Kenneth Omeruo for Ideye to fill the vacated right back slot. Uche had another chance in the 81 minute but he blasted wide off target again.
Thereafter it was a tense affair with the Eagles keen to keep their advantage and the Stallions pressing forward their numerical supremacy. Mikel Obi had a chance to settle the tie in the 87th minute but he blasted wide. And all the missed chances came back to bite the Eagles as substitute Alain Traore snatched a point with the last kick of the game.
The Burkinabes will next contend with the determined Walya of Ethiopia while the Super Eagles must find a way around the Chipolopolo on Friday at the Mbombela Stadium, who will be more determined after their lacklustre 1-1 draw against Ethiopia.
HOW THEY STAND IN GROUP C
Team Pl W D L GF GA GD+/- Pts
Zambia 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Ethiopia 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Nigeria 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Burkina Faso 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1