Burkina Faso hold Super Eagles with late strike
Burkina Faso grabbed a late equaliser to hold 10-man Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in an AFCON Group C tie in Nelspruit on Monday.
Nigeria were coasting to a win before substitute Alain Traore popped up to grab a stoppage time equaliser in this West African derby.
Group C is now delicately balanced after Zambia and Ethiopia also played out a 1-1 draw in the first match of the group.
Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike justified his starting shirt ahead of the more prolific Ikechukwu Uche when he put Nigeria ahead after 23 minutes.
A long ball by Mikel from the midfield, a stylish flick by Brown Ideye and Emenike powered his way through his two markers to tap the ball past on-rushing Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama.
The sending off of defender Efe Ambrose for a second booking in the 74th minute appears to have pulled Nigeria back as Burkina surged forward for an equaliser.
Nigeria created more chances in the first half, but Burkina Faso threatened when they surged forward as Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo looked jittery and made a couple of mistakes at the back.
Ideye could have doubled Nigeria lead but saw his header go in the opposite direction, while the speedy Ahmed Musa’s effort late in the first half was too weak to trouble the Burkina goalkeeper.
In the second half, Burkina kept pressing for at least an equaliser and it looked like Nigeria would run out with a slim win only for talismanic Lorient striker Traore to smash home from inside the box after Godfrey Oboabona failed to control the ball.
Traore was also the hero in October when he grabbed another late winner to deny Central African Republic an historic passage to this tournament.
Substitute Ikechukwu Uche had two great chances to give Nigeria a cushion, but on both cases he missed by much.