Nigeria, Zambia in stalemate
John Obi Mikel (AP Photo)
Nelspruit - Nigeria were again pegged back by the defending African Cup of Nations champions Zambia in a 1-1 draw on Friday in a Group C match at the Mbombela Stadium.
Both teams will now have to wait till their final group games to determine their fate in this competition as they are both on two points each, while Ethiopia and Burkina Faso will slug it out in the second game of the day.
This was the classic game of two halves – Zambia dominated the first period, but Nigeria stepped up after the interval.Video: Nigeria v Zambia - highlights
Emmanuel Emenike gave Nigeria the lead in the 57th minute, when he was set up by Mikel Obi after he stole the ball from Chisamba Lungu.
Kennedy Mweene drew Zambia level in the 85th minute when he slotted past Enyeama after Ogenyi Onazi was adjudged to have brought down Emmanuel Mayuka.
Zambia were the livelier of the two teams in a goalless first half and created the better chances.
They enjoyed more of the possession with Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka’s header missing the target very early on, before Kalaba fired at the Eagles goal on 16 minutes off a Chisamba Lungu cross.
Six minutes later, playmaker Kalaba’s shot-cum-cross was clutched by Nigeria goalkeeper Enyeama.
Nigeria elected to play the long ball thereby cutting off the Zambia midfield to get quicker to goal.
Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi failed to score from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after David Nkausu brought down Ahmed Musa inside the box.
Obi’s effort beat a diving Kennedy Mweene, but came off the foot of the post.
On 29 minutes, skipper Enyeama was again called to duty when he had to dive full stretch to hold firmly to a Chisamba free-kick from outside the box.
In the 36th minute, big defender Stopilla Sunzu’s header off another free-kick screamed across the Eagles goal, before Chris Katongo then scoffed his shot at goal no thanks to the sandy Mbombela Stadium pitch.
Enyeama again came up big in first half stoppage time when he went down to deal superbly with a dangerous-looking Chisamba effort from the right flank.
Nigeria got off to a flying start immediately after the break as Emenike troubled the Zambia defence severally and it was not long before he would score his second goal of the tournament.
Emenike gave Nigeria the lead in the 57th minute, when he was set up by Mikel Obi after he stole the ball from Chisamba Lungu.
On 72 minutes, Enyeama saved off the feet of the exciting Kalaba as the Chipolopolo poured forward in search of an equalising goal.
Kalaba again set up substitute Collins Mbesuma on 81st minute right inside the box, but the big striker’s shot was too weak to trouble Enyeama.
Mweene drew Zambia level in the 85th minute when he slotted past Enyeama after Ogenyi Onazi was adjudged to have brought down Emmanuel Mayuka to see the game end 1-1.