Nigeria 1-0 Burkina, and three for super Eagles
After failing to play the tournament last year, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have won the Orange Africa cup of nations 2013 in South Africa after beating Burkina Faso 1-0 tonight in Johannesburg.
A solitary goal from Sunday Mba in the last five minutes of the first half was enough for the Nigerians to make the difference. The Super Eagles made a positive start to the match with Efe Ambrose attempting to go on a signature run down the right hand but he lose the ball in the final third. Ambrose was on again in the 8th minute when he received a cross from Moses and clattered his powerful header over the bar. Two minutes after, Ideye’s attempt also when up in the air. The men of Stephen Keshi remained masters of the games despite numerous unfinished chances. Five minutes to the break, Burkina Faso cut opened as Victor Moses drew two defenders with fast footwork in the box. He struck and the ball ricocheted back to Mba who stormed forward from the left and toe poked past keeper Diakite into the far corner to permit Nigeria grab the lead. With this goal, Mba becomes the first non Egyptian player since 2004 to score in a final of the Africa cup of nations. Few actions followed from both sides but the score remained unchanged until the end of the first half. Upon resumption, the Super Eagles had a great chance when Uche made a terrific run up the right and smashed straight across the six-yard-box but there was nobody to finish the action. In the 56th, Moses had a fantastic chance. Burkina Faso defense opened up as he moved into the box but took too long on the ball and sent it in the wrong direction. Few minutes after the Stallions almost created a good chance as Pitroipa blasted up the right and delivered it to Nakoulma who was unable to find the net. Twenty minutes to the end of the game, ball possession was almost leveled out to 50-50. The Burkinabe were close to an equalizer in the 74th minutes. Two quick counter attacks left Nigeria open at the back and Sanou cut in from the right just to see his shot fly beside the post. Burkina Faso appeared quite determined for an equalizer but could not make it even with four extra mines. The Super Eagles lift the trophy in South Africa thanks to Sunday Mba in the 40th minute.
Sunday, 10th February, is the decisive day in Orange Africa Cup of Nations, SOUTH AFRICA 2013. Nigeria and Burkina Faso are fighting for the first place, the title, the throne of football in Africa! The match takes place at 6PM GMT in FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso shall enter history tonight at 20:00GMT as the 20th Nation to play an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final. In now nine appearances, the Stallions have succeeded to cross the group stage twice. Their first exploit was in 1998 when they took fourth place in the cup which they hosted.
Burkina Faso are not tipped favourites in today’s finals as they are taking on the Super Eagles of Nigeria two-times champions, who tonight in Johannesburg shall be counting their seventh AFCON final.
Nigeria won their first title in 1980 and their second 14 years later when their present coach Stephen Keshi , AKA The Big Boss, was captain of the Super Eagles.
Nigeria started this Orange AFCON 2013 in Group C as outsiders but gradually upgraded their status by first eliminating Côte D’Ivoire, “super favourites” of the tournament, 2-1 in the quarterfinals before laminating Mali 4-1 in the semifinal.
This 29th final of the AFCON shall somewhat be the prolongation of the Group C day one match which saw Burkina Faso, then branded underdogs, compel the Super Eagles to share the spoil 1-1 at the 90+4’.
In the group stage, Burkina Faso emerged first with five points and a +4 goal difference while Nigeria took second with five points and a +2 goal difference.
In case of a win tonight in the South Africa 2013 event, Burkina Faso shall be the 15th Nation to brandish Africa’s most prestigious football trophy while if Nigeria win Keshi ,shall be the second coach to win the cup after haven won it as a player.