It was a moment all soccer lovers in Africa and across the world had waited anxiously for; the moment when the champions of AFCON 2013 would be crowned. The Nigeria Super Eagles and the Stallions of Burkina Faso were the Last men standing. Other big names like Cote D’ivoire, Zambia, Ghana, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and South Africa had all fallen aside.
The final battle was between Nigeria and Burkina Faso (both West Africans): Mali and Ghana had in the previous day slugged it out for the 3rd place match with the former emerging 3-1 winners against all odds.
With Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria) and Allain Traore (Burkina Faso) both ruled out as a result of injuries, the match was certainly going to miss two of the tournament’s best strikers. Good news for the Burkinabes as Jonathan Pitroipa had been pardoned to play against the Super Eagles after his Red card in the semi final match against Ghana was cancelled by CAF.
The match was expected to be a tough one as it eventually turned out to be. The Nigerian Super Eagles dominated the first half of play, missing several chances that should have put them ahead in the early minutes of the match. It was obvious the absence of Emmanuel Emenike created a vacuum in the attack which Ikechukwu Uche, who was a little heavy could not fill. Ideye Brown could not convert a lot of scoring chances that came his way. Victor Moses kept producing those his flashy runs from the wings but nobody to bury the ball in the net.
|Super Eagles Celebrate|
Nigeria will now prepare to fly the continent’s flag in the Confederation Cup later in Brazil. And as they prepare for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we hope the boys would maintain their fighting spirit and bring more pride to Nigeria and Africa in general.
Nigeria: Ogenyi Onanzi, John Obi Mikel, Sunday Mba, Victor Moses, Brown Ideye, Ikechukwu Uche, Vincent Enyeama, Elderson Echiejile, Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose.
Burkina Faso: Bakary Kone, Paul Koulibaly, Mady Panandetiguiri, Daouda Diakite, Djakaridja Kone, Florent Rouamba, Charles Kabore, Prejuce Nakoulma, Jonathan Pitroipa, Aristide Bance and Mohamed Koffi.