Nigeria crowned champs
Johannesburg - Sunday Mba struck with a left-footed
volley in the first half as Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 1-0 at the
National Stadium on Sunday to end a 19-year Africa Cup of Nations
(AFCON) trophy drought.
The Super Eagles, playing in the
tournament finale for the seventh time, had the better chances
throughout. They were rewarded when Mba scored in the 40th minute, and
held on to secure their third continental crown, and their first since
The result ended a dream run from the Berkinabe, who
reached the semi-finals for only the second time in their history,
before edging Ghana on penalties to book their place in the gold medal
VIDEO: Nigeria v Burkina Faso, highlights
Victor Moses made a return from injury straight into the
Super Eagles' starting line-up, while Emmanuel Emenike did not recover
from injury in time for the match and was replaced by Ikechukwu Uche.
Faso were relieved to have the services of Jonathan Pitroipa after his
semi-final red card was rescinded, and they retained an unchanged run-on
Nigeria held on to the ball from the first whistle and
Brown Ideye made a run down the middle, releasing Eric Ambrose, but his
shot from in the box was directed straight at goalkeeper Daouda Diakite.
eighth minute free kick from Moses found the head of Efe Ambrose but the shot was off
From the ensuing corner, Moses went long and the ball was
headed towards goal, without Diakite able to gather, but Ideye sent his
strike sailing just over the bar.
Burkina Faso were nearly dealt
a cruel blow through some careless defending in the 19th minute. A poor
backheel by defender Paul Koulibaly on the edge of area gifted Nigeria
the ball. Ideye ran sideways as the Burkinabe defence moved in to cover
and Nigeria could not manage a shot.
A minute later, Moses probed again as he ran down the left, but he reeled off an average shot which was gathered by Diakite.
first shot for the Burkinabe came in the 25th minute when Aristide
Bance went for goal, but his long range effort was well over target.
was involved again three minutes later, on this occasion with a free
kick from 30m out. He went for a low shot left of the wall but was
After a bustling move down the centre shortly before the
break, Mba gathered a loose ball in the box, turned past a defender and
had no problem finding the back of the net to give Nigeria the lead.
minutes after the interval, Ideye took a shot from an acute angle which
had the beating of Diakite, but the ball bounced centimetres wide.
55th minute counter-attack by Nigeria allowed Moses to run unhindered
toward the opposition area, but he took too long to shoot and a defender
was able to partially block the shot.
Just before the hour mark,
Bance flicked on with a header from a free-kick but Vincent Enyeama was
able to collect the ball comfortably.
Wilfried Sanou came close
to levelling the scores in the 74th minute, but his powerful shot was
directed just past the far post from close range.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi became only the second player to win the AFCON title as a player and a coach.
List of Africa Cup of Nations champions:
1972: Congo Brazzaville
1992: Ivory Coast
1996: South Africa
4: Cameroon, Ghana
1: Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Morocco, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia
Note: Zaire renamed Democratic Republic of Congo