1 of 5
2 of 5
3 of 5
4 of 5
5 of 5
The official AFCON ball
The official AFCON ball
By Ayodele Odumade
Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene scored a penalty in the dying minutes of their game against Nigeria to deny them of the victory they deserved with just 6 minutes to go.
Rainford Kalaba shot wide in the 15th minute of the game as both sides were trying to feel each other out. In the 22nd minute, Kalaba hit a shot, which went across the Nigerian goal towards Emmanuel Mayuka but Vincent Enyeama saved the shot before Mayuka could react.
In the 24th minute, Nigeria were awarded a penalty as Davies Nkausu brought Ahmed Musa down in the penalty box. However, John Mikel Obi who stepped up to take the penalty hit the outside of the post with a very poor kick. It was a reprieve for Nkausu and Zambia.
In the 28th minute, Enyeama saved Chisamba Lungu’s curled free kick brilliantly.
In the second half, Nigeria upped the tempo as they went looking for the second goal, which would kill off the game.
In the 48th minute, Musa went on a run and hit a shot across the post but Emmanuel Emenike who was running in could not connect.
In the 55th minute, Emenike bore down on the Zambian goal, he then took a shot, which took an age to drop but it was just wide off the post. A minute later, Emenike scored as he got the ball in the box, swiveled, turned and shot low past Mweene to give Nigeria the lead.
In the 71st minute, Kalaba should have leveled but Enyeama raced out and made an excellent save.
In the 81st minute, second half substitute Collins Mbesuma should have equalised for Zambia but his weak shot was straight at Enyeama.
Five minutes later, Zambia drew level as Ogenyi Onazi was penalised for bringing Mbesuma down. The penalty seemed very harsh, as there was barely any contact between the players. However, once the Nigerian team had finished protesting, man of the moment, Mweene stepped up and sent Enyeama the wrong way to level the match.
The Nigerian team was stunned and felt hard done by. The match ended in a draw with both side still with a good chance of making the quarter finals.
Unfortunately for Nigeria, their old failings came to the fore as once again, they failed to close out the game. Even more damning, is that this was Stephen Keshi’s 8th match as a coach at the African Cup of Nations and he is still waiting for his first win.