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Tuesday 22 January 2013

ACON: Frustration for Mikel's Nigeria and Mayuka's Zambia

A review of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals matches from Monday

  • Reading prospect Stoppila Sunzu of Zambia tackles Ethiopia's goalscorer Adane Girma

  • Nigeria's Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is challenged by Burkina Faso's Djakaridja Kone

Both of Monday’s Africa Cup of Nations Group matches ended in 1-1 draws with Burkino Faso denying Nigeria victory with the last kick of the game.

Nigeria 1-1 Burkina Faso

Nigeria had high hopes of getting their Group C encounter off to a winning start and those aspirations appeared justified when Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring midway through the first half, latching on to Ideye Brown's flick after Chelsea's John Obi Mikel had created the chance with a raking through ball.

But the Super Eagles, who spurned two chance to double their advantage in the second half through Ikechukwu Uche, made life difficult for themselves when Celtic right-back Efe Ambrose was dismissed – and they were pegged back in the fourth minute of added time when Alain Traore converted Jonathan Pitroipa's cutback.

It also proved a frustrating day for Chelsea’s Victor Moses, who was forced to look on from the bench for the duration of the match, and still awaits his first Africa Cup of Nations sortie.

Zambia 1-1 Ethiopia

Earlier in the day Zambia also had to settle for a draw as they conceded a second-half equaliser against a ten-man Ethiopia side who also missed a penalty.

Making their first appearance in the tournament for 31 years Ethiopia gave a good account of themselves but had their work cut out to get anything from the match after Saladain Said’s first-half penalty was saved by Kennedy Mweene.

Before half-time had arrived Ethiopia goalkeeper Jemal Tassew had been dismissed for a reckless challenge 40 yards from goal on Chisamba Lungu and striker Collins Mbesuma had also given Zambia the lead.

However, the holders – with Stoppila Sunzu, who was training with Reading last week, deployed in defence – failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage and Ethiopia got back in the game when Adane Girma levelled with a clinical finish.

In the six minutes he was afforded as a substitute, Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka was unable to make any impact on proceedings.

Premier League interest

Seven Barclays Premier League players are hoping to be in action in once match alone Ivory Coast take on Togo. The Manchester City trio Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and Abdul Razak, will be vying for a place alongside Arsenal forward Gervinho, Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote and Wigan Athletic forward Arouna Kone as one of the tournament favourites take on a Togo side spearheaded by Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Tunisia meet Algeria In today’s other Group D fixture.


Saturday 19 January
Group A

South Africa 0-0 Cape Verde Islands
Angola 0-0 Morocco

Sunday 20 January
Group B

Ghana 2-2 Congo DR
Mali 1-0 Niger

Monday 21 January
Group C

Zambia 1-1 Ethiopia
Nigeria 1-1 Burkina Faso

Imminent Fixtures

Tuesday 22 January
Group D

Ivory Coast v Togo
Tunisia v Algeria

Wednesday 23 January
Group A

South Africa v Angola
Morocco v Cape Verde Islands

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Key Points

  • Burkina Faso score last-gasp goal to earn 1-1 draw with ten-man Nigeria
  • Ethiopia also muster point against Zambia despite dismissal of goalkeeper and missed penalty
  • Seven Barclays Premier Legaue players could be in action today when Ivory Coast take on Togo