AFCON 2015: Eagles Keeps Qualification Hope Alive


Second-half goals by Ikechukwu Uche and Aaron Samuel against Congo in Pointe-Noire on Saturday have kept African champions Nigeria alive in the AFCON 2015 qualifiers.

The win in Congo means Nigeria are now second in Group A with seven points ahead of Congo, who also have seven points but are third on the head-to-head stats.

And if beat group leaders South Africa in Uyo on Wednesday they will then finish behind Bafana Bafana and qualify automatically for Equatorial Guinea 2015.

Villarreal striker Uche celebrated his long-awaited return to the Super Eagles in style when in the 59th minute he tucked away a penalty after Congo goalkeeper Massa fouled goal-bound Emmanuel Emenike.

Congo failed to draw level in the 65th minute, when Vincent Enyeama saved a penalty taken by Thievy Bifouma after Godfrey Oboabona handled a goal-bound shot inside his box.

Substitute Aaron Samuel then made the game save for Nigeria a minute to full time when he struck from inside the box.

The game was held up for some time after angry fans threw missiles on the pitch to show their frustration, but it was later restarted with no more incidents or goals.

The home team now face a hefty fine from CAF for this crowd incident after they were first warned about crowd control following problems when they hosted Sudan in September.

It was a goalless first half with home team Congo carving the bigger chances to take the lead.

In the 38th minute Ferebory Dore smashed his shot across the face of the Nigeria goal but there was no Congo player to connect home.

Nigeria’s best chance fell to Mikel in the 22nd minute, but the Chelsea star failed to direct his header from a corner on target.

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