25 January 2013

South Africa/Zambia: Another Frustrating Draw for Afcon Champions Zambia

Pretoria — The reigning champions of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Zambia have continued to defend their title with yet another frustrating draw against Nigeria in their second group stage match of the 2013 Afcon tournament at Mbombela stadium on Friday.

Today's result means that the two teams will go to their final group stage matches with two points each.

Zambia will face Burkina Faso next week Monday, while Nigeria will play against Ethiopia who held the defending champions to a 1-1 draw.

The Zambians came to the match looking more confident and showed no respect to the formidable Nigerian team which includes the Chelsea duo, Mikel Obi and Victor Moses.

The first 15 minutes of the game saw Emmanuel Mayuka and skipper Chris Katongo troubling the Super Eagles defence, but they failed to find the back of the net in the opportunities they created.

The game should have changed in the 24th minute when Davis Nkausa brought down Nigerian player Musa in the box and the referee did not hesitate to give Nigeria a penalty. However, Mikel failed to convert.

When the referee blew the whistle for the half-time break, it was still a goalless draw - but the Super Eagles came back from the second-half looking very strong.

As the Nigerians continued with their offensive attack, they finally found the back of the net through Emmanuel Emenike in the 57th minute.

The reigning champions should have equalised in the 81th minute when they caught the Nigerians defence on a counter-attack.

Rainford Kalaba crossed the ball to an unmarked Collins Mbesuma who took a low shot straight into the Super Eagles keeper, Vincent Enyeama.

Two minutes later, as the Zambians continued to add pressure looking for the equaliser, the referee gave the Zambian team a penalty after one of their players was brought down in the box.

The defending champion's keeper and captain, Kennedy Mweene took the penalty and put the ball on the top corner to give his home side a crucial equaliser.

Both teams came to the match with a point they had earned from their first matches of the 2013 tournament played at Mbombela stadium on Monday.

The defending champions were left disappointed after they were forced to a 1-1 draw by Ethiopia, while the Super Eagles drew 1-1 with Burkina Faso.

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