Match - Sat 9 June, 14:30, Calabar
|2. (90 + 2’)||0. (90’)|
Eagles stay top after Malawi draw
Victor Moses vs Namibia
The Eagles remain top of Group F with four points from two matches, while Malawi are second on two points.
The group’s other game between Namibia and Kenya later Saturday will determine the final standings before the next round of matches in the qualifying tournament to be played next year.
Saturday’s tie inside the Kamuzu Banda Stadium in Blantyre was looking like it will end in a goalless draw before Nigeria took the lead a minute from time through Kano Pillars midfielder Gabriel Rueben.
However, Nigerian celebration was cut short when the home team restored parity two minutes into stoppage time through John Banda.
It was largely a balanced game with both teams carving good chances.
Eagles strikers Ikechukwu Uche and Victor Moses both had chances they ought to have put away but for the brilliance of Malawi goalkeeper Simplex Nthara.
Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made a couple of mistakes, but the home team failed to cash in on these. He was later fingered for the last-gasp equaliser by Malawi.
Montpellier striker John Utaka, who was the match winner when both teams last clashed at the same venue nine years ago, was again a shadow of himself, as was Enugu Rangers winger Ejike Uzoenyi.
Coach Keshi kept faith with the same starting XI he paraded against Namibia for Saturday’s clash.
This meant that late comer Raheem Lawal only came off the bench, while five players from the Nigeria Premier League began this encounter.
Spain-based striker Ike Uche, who was the match winner against Namibia on Sunday in Calabar, recovered from a knock in training in Abuja to start this crunch tie.
Nigeria starting XI:
Vincent Enyeama – Godfrey Oboabona, Juwon Oshaniwa, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Efe Ambrose – Obiora Nwankwo, Gabriel Rueben, Ike Uche, – Victor Moses, John Utaka, Ejike Uzoenyi