An underrated Nigerian team, the Super Eagles, dominates Africa bringing the country something to cheer in the face of inept leadership, monumental corruption and widespread poverty ravaging the land
The Super Eagles of Nigeria, Sunday night, inside the FNB Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, ended a 19-year wait to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy after beating the Stallions of Burkina Faso 1-0.
Home-based professional, Sunday Mba, again proved his mettle scoring the only goal for Nigeria five minutes away from the half time mark.
Mba is one of the six home-based players in the Nigerian squad to South Africa and currently plies his trade with Nigeria Premier League side, Warri Wolves.
The goal came in a surprising way after Brown Ideye’s fine run up the middle was cut short by a Burkinabe defender and the referee waved play on due to Nigeria’s advantage.
With the ball finding Moses, he fired a shot that was blocked and Mba connected on and first tipped the ball over an on- rushing Burkinabe defender with his right leg before finishing it off with a left volley to record his second goal of the tournament.
Both teams huffed and puffed but the solitary goal from Mba made the difference for Nigeria as they claimed their third AFCON title.
Dubbed favourites going into the game, the Super Eagles had the first shot on target as Efe Ambrose tried a weak strike from outside the 18 yards in the second minute, and that was promptly picked up by the Burkina Faso keeper, Diakite.
Seven minutes later, Burkina Faso’s Roumbaba brought down Ideye, conceding a free kick some 25 yards in front of goal. Victor Moses lobbed in the free kick and it was Efe Ambrose who rose above his markers and nodded strongly but the ball went few centimetres over the bar.
Ideye came close to shooting Nigeria ahead in the 10th minute after a goal keeping error saw the ball drop from the hands of Burkina Faso goal keeper but Ideye’s rebound was inches higher than the bar yet again.
In the 12th minute, there was a little scare for the Nigeria team as youthful Ogenyi Onazi barged into a Burkina Faso player and needed some medical attention before getting back on his feet.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Burkina Faso made their first incursion into the Nigerian defence with star man, Jonathan Pitropa, slicing the Eagles defence, but his final pass to teammate, Bance, was intercepted by Godffery Oboabona.
THE GOAL THAT WON THE NATIONS CUP FOR NIGERIA
Nigeria started the second half on fire again, and Ideye was close to doubling Nigeria’s lead but goalkeeper Diakite put a finger to the ball to deny the ball going into the net.
The Eagles then had other scoring chances with the likes of Moses, Ahmed Musa all having a go at goals.
The Final match of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations is the first truly all-West African Final since Cote d’Ivoire prevailed over Ghana 11-10 on penalties at the Stade Leopold Senghor Stadium, Dakar on January 26, 1992.
With Sunday’s win, the Super Eagles have now moved behind only Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana on the number of tournaments won.
Coach Stephen Keshi has thus become only the second man to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as player and coach. Keshi lifted the trophy the last time Nigeria won it, on April 10, 1994, in Tunisia.
If you missed the match, you can read our live commentaries of the game below.
Good evening folks! Welcome to Premium Time’s LIVE coverage of the Africa Cup Of Nations finals clash between Nigeria and Burkina Faso.