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WC Qualification Africa

  • June 12, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Sam Nujoma Stadium, Windhoek
  • Referee: M. Maeruf Kherseed
  • • Attendance: 9000

Namibia 1-1 Nigeria: Super Eagles unimpressive as celebrations are put on ice

Namibia 1-1 Nigeria: Super Eagles unimpressive as celebrations are put on ice

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Stephen Keshi's team fought back to secure a point away against Namibia, but it is not a result that guarantees their progression from their World Cup Qualifying Group

Nigeria limped towards a place at Brazil next summer with an underwhelming draw away against Namibia.

After the Brave Warriors had surprisingly taken the lead at the Sam Nujoma Stadium through Deon Kavendji, the Super Eagles responded through the unlikely hero of Godfrey Oboabona to secure a point with just seven minutes remaining.

During the opening stages, the visitors looked composed and confident. They kept the ball well, dominated possession, and gently began to turn the screw on their Namibian hosts, who looked, at times, like veritable prey for Africa’s champions.

In the opening stages of the contest, Koln forward Anthony Ujah - preferred to both Ideye Brown and Joseph Akpala from the start - burst through on goal, only to be bundled to the ground by a Namibian defender, but the referee was unmoved in appeals for a straight red card.

As the first half wore on, Keshi’s men sought the goal that would hand them near-complete control in the contest. Ujah was the most likely to break the deadlock, but lost his nerve with every chance that came his way, sending a whole flurry of shots skywards or into the arms of Virgil Vries in the home goal.

Ahmed Musa, with his raw pace and direct running, was a threat, but behind him, John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi were predominantly shackled by their opposite numbers as the visitors continued to struggle.

As Nigeria’s profligacy continued, their hosts began to grow in confidence, and instigated several more forays forward when the opportunities arose. It was from one of these that the opening goal sprang, with Kavandji on hand to sumptuously volley the ball past the stranded Vincent Enyeama, into the bottom-left corner.

Nigeria, with their World Cup qualification thrown into doubt, needed to show some of the mettle that saw them lift the Africa Cup of Nations, and with seven minutes remaining they did just that.

Centre-back Godfrey Oboabona stepped up to take a freekick from the edge of the box and fired a delightful finish into the back of the net to send the visiting fans into jubilation, but although they pressed forward for the closing stages they were unable to find a second goal.

With Malawi and Kenya having shared the points earlier in the day, a win for Nigeria would have guaranteed their progression from Group F, and ensured their safe passage into the CAF play-off round.

Instead, they were unable to beat the side ranked 125th in the world, and will now need to avoid defeat against Malawi in Calabar in order to advance.