Afcon Champions Nigeria slip up at home in World Cup qualifiers
By Peter Pedroncelli
Winners of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Kenya in a World Cup qualifier that took place in Calabar on Saturday evening. The Super Eagles were fortunate to emerge from the match with a point, after Nnamdi Oduamadi snatched a last minute equaliser.
The Kenyans took the lead in the first half, with a 36th minute strike from Francis Kahata surprising the West Africans and allowing Harambee Stars fans to dream.
Considering the fact that this was the first match the Super Eagles have played since becoming African champions in South Africa earlier this year, the UJ Esuene Stadium witnessed a disappointing result for the proud West Africans, while the Kenyans will have faith that a return leg in Nairobi in June looks a great deal more promising.
The result leaves Group F looking very open indeed, thanks to Malawi’s 1-0 win over Namibia in Windhoek earlier in the day. Nigeria and the Flames of Malawi top the standings with five points each, while Namibia have three and Kenya sit bottom with two points.
In other African World Cup qualifiers which took place on Saturday, Congo registered a valuable 1-0 victory over Gabon thanks to a second half goal from Christopher Samba, while Cameroon earned three priceless points thanks to a 2-1 win in their encounter over Togo, courtesy of two goals from Samuel Eto’o, one coming from the spot.
Dove Wome equalised for the Sparrow Hawks just before half time, but the Indomitable Lions were true to their nickname and carved out the victory thanks to the 82nd minute penalty.