Afcon: Zambia goalkeeper salvages draw against Nigeria

Mweene's late heroics in this Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash on Friday cancelled out Emmanuel Emenike's goal with Nigeria's John Obi Mikel failing to convert a first-half penalty.

The stalemate left defending champions Zambia and Nigeria tied at the top of the mini-league, with Burkina Faso and Ethiopia playing later.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi made three changes.

In came Chelsea winger Victor Moses, making his Afcon debut after missing the 1-1 draw with Burkina Faso with a hamstring injury.

Joining Moses were Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and Fegor Ogude.

Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo dropped to the bench after a late ankle injury, with goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama taking over his captain's armband, Dynamo Kyiv striker Brown Ideye was also out, while Celtic defender Efe Ambrose was suspended.

Ambitious starts
For Zambia, defender Emmanuel Mbola and Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka were called up for Hichani Himonde and Collins Mbesuma, the scorer in the 1-1 stalemate with Ethiopia.

Chisamba Lungu, who suffered an ankle injury when floored by Ethiopian goalkeeper Jemal Tassew, won his battle to be fit for this sixth Nations Cup meeting between the two sides.

For the Zambians this clash on the threadbare Mbombela Stadium pitch represented the chance to avenge defeats to Nigeria in Angola in 2010 and in the 1994 final, the last of Nigeria's two titles.

Hervé Renard's men started ambitiously, but Nigeria's defence held firm as the title-holders struggled to capitalise on all their possession.


On 25 minutes, Zambia had a lucky escape when defender Davies Nkausu felled Ahmed Musa in the box, with Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha pointing to the spot.

Mikel stepped up, but his far-from-vintage low effort went the wrong side of Mweene's right post.

On the attack
Zambia ended the first half as they'd begun it, on the attack, yet unable to land a sucker punch.

A more assured Nigeria emerged after the restart, and deservedly took a 57th-minute lead when Emenike raced on to Mikel's neat through pass. He controlled the ball well before shooting low into the left hand corner of Mweene's net.

The Spartak Moscow striker was doubling his tally in South Africa, having scored in Nigeria's first game.

That sparked Renard to alter his line-up, Mbesuma and Mulenga Mukuka coming on for captain Christopher Katongo and Lungu. Soon after, Isaac Chansa came off for Jonas Sakuwaha as Renard strengthened his attack.

Mweene then saved Zambia's day.

The keeper, who regularly takes penalties for Free State Stars and converted his effort in last year's Afcon final shoot-out, stepped up to slot home a spot kick awarded harshly when Onazi tangled with Mayuka in the box. – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday