Zimbabwe make Eagles sweat for bronze

on   /   in Sports 12:51 am   /   Comments

*Obiozor saves Nigerians agony penalty kicks

By Jacob Ajom

A 10-man Warriors of Zimbabwe held the Super Eagles in the third-place play-off of the CAF African Nations Championship, with the hope of trying their luck in the penalty shoot-out, bu t Chinonso Obiozor rose high above a stubborn Zimbabwe defence to head a home a cross from Ekije Uzoenyi to seal the bronze for Nigeria.

The goal, scored in he 85th minute came as a huge relief to the Super Eagles after they had laboured all day to break down the Zimbabweans who were reduced to ten men in the 17th minute when midfielder,  Masimba Mambare planted a high boot on the shoulders of goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim.

Both sides were cautions from the start, but the early chances fell to the Super Eagles and they fluffed much to the chagrin of the Nigerian bench, which had hope for an early goal to calm the frayed nerves of the Nigerian team that was bruised by the penalty-shoot out loss to Ghana in the semi-final. Christian Pyagbare wasted the best chance of the game when blasted over the bar after he had been set up by Shehu Abdullah. Bernabas Imenger and Obiozor failed to convert other chances so was Abubakar Ibrahim.

He had broke into the Zimbabwean box as his dazzling footwork got him past three defenders. However the young attacker went to ground at the slightest touch and was booked for simulation by the referee. The Zimbabweans fought back and were also most getting the break through goal, but Agbim was very timely with his cover up runs.

Coach Stephen Keshi introduced Uzoenyi at the break to replace Benjamin. Uzoenyi’s mission was to unlock the tight defence of the Zimbabweans. The Super Eagles kept ask questions, but they failed to nailed the Warriors. They fought back with hard tackles to frustrate the Nigerian forwards, and it worked as the Eagles failed to find the back of the net.

Kwambe Solomon saw his long range free-kick fly over the bar as the Super Eagles started to show some frustrations. Uzoenyi then waltzed his was past the Zimbabwe defence in the 78th minute but his angled shot was saved by Chigova.

However, Uzoenyi finally made good his inclusion, when he lobbed into the box and Obiozor who was at the right place picked his spot and it was game over.

    Print       Email