Nigeria upset Cote d’Ivoire to reach semi final
The Super Eagles are through to the semi finals of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013 after edging out the tournament’s super favourites Cote d’Ivoire 2-1.
Sunday Mba’s 78 minute goal was enough to settle issues for the Super Eagles after Cheikh Tiote’s second half header had canceled Emmanuel Emenike’s first half thunderbolt.
Nigeria went into the game as under dogs after a rather timid display in the group stage but the Super Eagles were not fazed by their opponents and surprisingly dominated possession in the first half.
Their determination eventually paid dividends two minutes before the break when a well laid off free kick by Mikel Obi was beautifully struck home by Emmanuel Emenike to beat Boubacar Barry between the sticks for the curtain raiser.
Cote d’Ivoire resumed the second half on the front foot and immediately got the equaliser just five minutes on when a Drogba free kick at the edge of the box was well headed in by an unmarked Tiote.
Cote d’Ivoire seemed to have got the ascendancy and only Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama could deny the Ivorians from taking the lead with a fine stop to deny Yaya Toure on a one-on-one situation.
Nigeria’s confidence grew once more and it was evident when Sunday Mba drove through the middle before unleashing a shot at the edge of the Ivorian box that was deflected by Sol Bamba to beat Barry for the second time in the game.
The Super Eagles held on and frustrated any attempts by the Elephants to stage a dramatic come back into the game.
The Nigerians will now face Mali on Wednesday in the first semi final of the tournament.
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