Burkina Faso snatch late equaliser against Nigeria
Moment of the match: The last-gasp equaliser from fit-again Alain Traore for Burkina Faso, the country’s top player, who came on as a late substitute to rescue his country’s blunt attack.
Eish!: Efe Ambrose, the giant Nigerian centre-back, was unnecessarily red-carded after a second bookable offence for his foul on Jonathan Pitroipa late in the game. The Glasgow Celtic player may not have cost his side the three points but will miss the critical encounter against Zambia on Friday.
Player to watch: Ahmed Musa, the Super Eagles pacy left winger, was a thorn in the side of Koffi Mohammed on the right side of the Burkinabe defence.
Burkina Faso snatched a late equaliser to force a 1-1 draw with Nigeria in their opening Group C 2013 Africa Cup of Nations battle at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
Substitute Alain Traore came on late in the second half tonight to net in the 90th minute, taking advantage of poor Nigerian defending.
The Super Eagles defender Efe Ambrose had been red-carded for a second bookable offence in the 74th minute after a foul on Jonathan Pitroipa – an error that may have been crucial towards the end for Nigeria.
His side looked home and dry with three points from the encounter after Emmanuel Emenike, the one-time F.C. Cape Town striker, stabbed in the lead in the 22nd minute.
While the Burkinabe had sat back in the first half, it was the Nigerians who took the initiative as they continued to probe the powerful defensive unit of their fellow West Africans.
An appetising cross after 12 minutes on the right flank from Ahmed Musa found Brown Ideye in the box with the striker finishing narrowly over the bar.
Ideye came close again midway through the half after being supplied by Emenike for his shot to be well saved by Abdoulaye Soulama in the Burkina Faso goal.
Burkina Faso had a brighter second half as Moumouni Dagano and Djakaridja Kone drew saves from Vincent Enyeama.
However, Nigeria missed out on a chance to double their margin as substitute striker Ike Uche manoeuvred two chances in the 65th and 81st minutes respectively, only for both his shots inside the box to sail wide of goal.
The group is now even, with Zambia and Ethiopia also having played a draw earlier in the day.