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Football | Super Eagles

Super Eagles © Shengolpix

10-man Eagles forfeit points



Nigeria got off their 2013 Afcon campaign to a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Nelspruit on Monday.

Nigeria played with ten men for the last quarter of an hour after Efe Ambrose was sent off.

But it will be the Nigerians who will be licking their wounds after dropping two points right at the death after Alain Traore's strike cancelled out Emmanuel Emenike' goal.

Eight minutes into the game, John Obi Mikel's ball over the top to Brown Ideye is poorly controlled it as the Burkinabe goalkeeper, Abdoulaye Soulama gathered without any trouble. Though on replay, Ideye clearly handled the ball with his left arm, which the ref missed.

The first real chance of the game came in the 12th minute, Ahmed Musa bent the ball from the right channel into Burkina Faso's penalty area with Ideye shooting it over the bar.

Emenike did a great work down the right flank in the 17th minute and crosses into the Burkinabe's six-yard box but Ideye could only nod awkwardly with Elderson Echiejile in a better position behind him.

And within minutes Nigeria captain, Joseph Yobo was caught out in defence and Moumouni Dagano failed to make the most of it.

But it was Nigeria's Super Eagles that took the lead on 23 minutes through Emenike. Mikel's ball over the top caught the Burkinabes flat with Ideye flicking it into the path of a charging Emenike to score a typical striker's goal.

Burkina Faso stormed back into the game like the Stallions they are but their West African rivals held firm to their one-goal lead though Ideye and Musa came close with half chances just before the break.

Nigeria started the business end with an early chance to double their lead as Ideye shot wide off target after a good lay off from Emenike.

Three minutes into the restart, Dagano could only head wayward from a Florent Rouamba cross.

The Stallions keeper, Soulama minutes later had to rush out to clear Mikel's through ball before Ideye could go free on goal.

On 62 min?utes, Burkina Faso start a counter-attack through Sanou before skipper Dagano's shot to the bottom corner of Nigeria's goal is tipped away by Vincent Enyeama.

Three minutes later, substitute Ikechukwu Uche missed a sitter to put Nigeria two goals up after Musa's low cross into Burkina Faso's goal area.

With 16 minutes left, Celtic man, Ambrose, was sent off for a second bookable offence, which provides a big incentive for the Stallions to fight back.

Ten minutes to time, Uche runs inside Burkina Faso's box after a diagonal ball found him on the left but he shot wide off the mark.

On 88 minutes, Chelsea midfielder, Mikel shot wide from Uche's lovely lay-off in front of Burkina Faso's goal area.

Right at the death substitute Alain Traore pounced after the Nigerian defence failed to clear Jonathan Pitroipa's cross to rightfully earn the Stallions a point.

The result throws Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations wide open with all teams on a point apiece.

Nigeria will face defending champions, Zambia on Friday.

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