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Africa Cup of Nations
25 January 2013
• Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Ghead Grisha
• Attendance: 25000
K. Mweene 85'
E. Emenike 57'
Well, that's all from me for the day. I've been Daniel Edwards and it's been a pleasure to share this African Cup of Nations action with all you fine folk. Goodbye for now.
Zambia will be the happier side after rescuing a point, but for both teams the result means essentially the same thing. Victory in the last round, or almost certain elimination for the two favourites.
This game will be remembered as a tale of two penalties. Mikel's woeful first-half effort that should have put Nigeria ahead, and the Zambia keeper stepping up with an inspired strike to earn a point.
And that's full time!! 1-1 between Zambia and Nigeria, Mweene gets his team out of jail late on from the penalty spot and it's another lead that's fallen by the wayside for the Super Eagles.
90' + 2'
It looks like this will be the third successive 1-1 draw in Group C, a result that gives Burkina Faso or Ethiopia the chance to take a great leap towards the last-eight with victory in their match later today.
We'll have four minutes added on here, as the 90 ticks over.
Ahmed Firaz Moosa
A chance for Zambia here, Kalaba to take a free kick but it's taken well by Enyeama.
A great kick, but really third-rate refereeing to give what was never a penalty. Nigeria will have a right to feel aggrieved, although they didn't exactly set the world on fire either in this contest.
Yellow Card Emenike
Mweene is back in action this time in his own area, coming out bravely to claim a cross and picking up a knock in the process.
Penalty Goal Kennedy Mweene
GOAL!!! Goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene shows Mikel exactly how to do it, calm as you like he placed it in the top corner to level this match. What was I saying just now? Oops.
PENALTY!!! PENALTY FOR ZAMBIA!! Onazi makes minimal contact with Mayuka on the edge of the box and it's a baffling decision, but it stands all the same.
Unbelievable!!! Collins Mbesuma has the goal at his mercy, wide open but the shot is as tame as you like, Enyeama drops on it like a child at Christmas guarding his presents.
Time is rapidly running out for Zambia. They can still grab something from this game, but judged on their rushed, indecisive attacking up to this point you wouldn't bet on it.
Victor Moses was struggling in the last few minutes, and he's been withdrawn for the end of this clash.
Substitute Malenga tries his luck from deep, but you're not beating this keeper like that. The shot is close to Enyeama and greedily snaffled.
A deep free kick from Zambia is looped into the far post, the header is there to put it back in play but Enyeama picks it up off Echiejlie's chest.
Mayuka looks disgusted with himself, Zambia have a half chance to counter but the ball balloons off the striker and out of play. With just over 15 to go, they can't afford those slip-ups.
Yellow Card Emmanuel Mbola
Ooooh Kalaba!! The creative star is clean through but cannot finish, Enyeama gets back to clean up and keep his side in the lead. Should have been an equaliser for Zambia.
Zambia now try to break and Chansa has the ball, only for Nigeria to shit the gate with some determined blocking.
Yellow Card Ahmed Firaz Moosa
The referee is becoming very card happy. Musa goes into the book for challenging a header in what appeared to be a very innocuous fashion.
What with the booking and the double substitution, the game has lost that rhythm we had just began to enjoy. Can the two new men change the course of the game for Zambia?
We're going to see the first changes of the afternoon as Zambia shuffle their hand, captain Katongo is curiously one of the men who will watch the rest of the match from the bench.
Yellow Card Nathan Sinkala
Sinkala tries to show the way to deal with the Spartak man with a brutal tackle. Too brutal in fact, and he goes in the book.
Let's take a quick moment to remind you that this game is only the beginning of today's Cup of Nations action. Later on Ethiopia will be battling Burkina Faso, a game you can also follow live with Goal.com
Emenike again!! He is having a great start to this half, and only a diving intervention from Sunzu denied him the chance to angle in another shot.
It's up to Zambia now then. Nigeria have really picked up the pace since the restart, and the 2012 champions will have to do the same if they want to stay in this match.
Assist John Obi Mikel
GOAL NIGERIA!!! That's the one Emenike was looking for, the striker is played through by Mikel with the Zambia defence in shambles and fires home, beating Mweene at the near post.
So close for Emenike!!! Under fierce pressure the Spartak man somehow releases a chip from the outside of his boot, which has Mweene beaten but drops just past the post.
The game has definitely picked up a bit, and not a moment too soon for my liking. Both teams attacking with more purpose in pursuit of three points.
Great stuff from Kalaba who bursts into the Nigeria half, and he picks out Mayuka. The striker shoots, but he cannot get his effort past a white shirt and it is deflected clear.
Emenike tussles with Sunzu as he chases a through-ball, and the foul decision goes against the Super Eagle as both men end up on the deck.
A good intervention by Musonda as he clears the ball from an oncoming Emenike, but it took its toll. The defender looks in discomfort before gingerly returning to his feet.
Who was at fault there, Musa or Emenike? The pair streak forward and Musa doesn't appear to see his team-mate, he flashes an effort across the goal but if Emenike stuck out his left boot, he might have got the touch to steer it the right side of the line.
A soft free kick given away by Oboabona, and Zambia will once again pump into the area. Well dealt with and Nigeria are on the counter.
Onazi caught offside as he breaks on the right, and Nigeria follow that up with another deep punt up the pitch. Come on lads, let's have it on the floor a bit.
We've started again with Nigeria kicking off, what will this half have in store?
Not much to choose between the two after 45 minutes, although Mikel will be livid at himself for missing one of the few clear chances so far - and I doubt his coach will be much happier. A draw leaves both sides on a knife-edge for the final round, they really need to come out fighting after the interval.
And that's the half-time whistle. We leave the action at a tense stalemate, still all to play for when we come back so don't go anywhere!!
45' + 1'
Zambia nearly finish with a flourish, Kalaba opens up the game from deep and Chansa takes it on the right with men to choose in the box. The cross is in, far too close to the keeper and the danger passes.
Just the one minute to be added on at the end of this half.
Let's hope so. Another aimless punt forward, this time from Nigeria, ends up in the arms of Mweene who in turns hits it into the stratosphere. Those two passages essentially sum up what I've seen so far.
Less than five minutes to go in this first half, and apart from Mikel's miss from the spot there hasn't been too much to get excited about. Can we expect better after the break?
Acrobatic stuff from Emenike, pinned down out wide he tries to open up the Zambia defence with a scissor-kick-pass. Unfortunately, there is no-one there except the rival keeper.
He was quiet for the first half hour, but Zambia captain Katongo is starting to make waves. The striker tries a speculative effort that bounces clear of the net.
Nosa has the ball on the edge of the area and shapes to shoot, but he won't get the chance. The forward is called back for a hand used to control the previous pass.
Kalaba loops the kick towards the far post, and it's Sunzu who meets it unmarked. The header flies just wide, and Enyeama is furious at his defenders.
Yellow Card Godfrey Oboabona
Katonga tries to jink past Oboabona and runs into a brick wall, free kick and the defender earns the first booking of the afternoon.
Cleared well by Zambia though and they are on the break. Katongo is clean through and... NO!!! The linesman's flag is up, offside.
Mikel will try and make amends for his miss from the corner, he will swing this one in.
Finally a bit of decent passing from Zambia, but Isaac Chansa holds his hands up in apology as his pass is too long and goes for a throw. It's an improvement though.
Chisamba himself takes the kick, and it takes a good save from Enyeama to turn behind a dipping strike. The keeper also comes up with the ball from the resulting corner, he's on form today.
Lungu is checked as he breaks on the left, and it's another free kick in a good position.
Zambia should count their blessings, an idiotic penalty went wide and the champions stay level.
Missed Penalty John Obi Mikel
Oooooooooooooooooooooooooh Mikel. A complete mishit from the Chelsea man, who drags his effort onto the post.
Penalty Nigeria!! Musa takes the ball in the area and Nkausu topples him in a stupid challenge. His coach is furious.
Mbola overhits his cross, and from 40m it's spiralling towards goal! Enyeama watches closely as the ball goes over.
Another cross-shot this time froM Zambia's Kalaba, Enyeama wasn't quite expecting to take that but reacted well and acrobatically.
Still little to separate these two highly-fancied teams, who so far aren't showing anything like their true potential. A lot of long balls to nowhere, not much class.
Victor Moses does excellently to slip past two defenders on the left, and Mikel swings in a cross. There's nobody home, and Mweene claims with ease.
Ooh that wasn't far off! Rainford Kalaba is played in with a fantastic pass across the Nigeria goal, and his effort whistles wide of the near post. Should have tested the keeper at least from there.
Nigeria given half a chance to break thanks to Kalaba's wayward pass, but the Super Eagles' response is just as disappointing and Zambia regain possession.
A moment of hesitation between Mikel and Enyeama, neither seemed to want to clear a loose header in the box but the midfielder eventually smashes away without caring too much where it lands.
Was it a cross, was it a shot? Most likely the former, Musa briefly gives the Zambia faithful a scare out wide on the right but his effort settles on the roof of the net.
Early days still, but Nigeria appear to have settled a little better than their rivals, starting to play the ball across the floor.
Zambia have broken forward a couple of times, but it's been fairly messy and a tad more composure on the ball would not do them any harm.
Emenike tries to get hold of a ball over the top, but he cannot get past Sunzu as the defender shepherds it out for a goal kick.
There are plenty of gaps in the stands for this game today, although it appears that numbers are swelling as latecomers continue to filter in.
Well cleared by Nigeria, and Emenike picks up possession on the halfway line.
This could be a chance. Emanuel Mayuka is chopped down and Zambia have a dangerous free-kick.
Lungu show his talents cutting in from the right with a mazy run. The ball is squared across the edge of the area, but the resulting shot is disappointing.
The first attacking activity for Zambia, Musonda swings in a deep cross and Mayuka connects, the header flying harmlessly wide.
Musa again is the man leading the charge on the left. He has a bit of space to cross but the ball goes harmlessly over the goal-line.
Nigeria are straight on the attack, Musa gets forward and squares but Zambia hoof the ball upfield.
And we're off!!! Zambia kick off against the Super Eagles as they continue their defence of the African Cup of Nations.
The teams are both on the pitch now, huddled making their final preparations. A win is vital here if either side wants to make the next stage.
Interestingly, captain and 90-times capped defender Joseph Yobo is absent from the first XI for Nigeria.
And now for the Nigerians... Enyeama, Onazi, Oboabona, Omeruo, Echiejile; Nosa, Mikel, Ogude; Musa, Emenike, Moses.
We're about 10 minutes from kick-off, let's have a look at today's teams. First the holders Zambia... Mweene; Nkausu, Mbola, Sunzu, Musonda; Lungu, Chansa, Sinkala, Kalaba; Katongo, Mayuka
Group C is completely deadlocked after one game, with both opening fixtures ending 1-1. Whoever takes the points in this one will take a big step towards the next round.
Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Zambia vs. Nigeria in the 2013 African Cup of Nations. My name's Daniel Edwards, and I'll be here with you until the final whistle of this intriguing group clash.
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