Nigeria wins African Cup, beats Burkina Faso 1-0


Published — Sunday 10 February 2013

Last update 11 February 2013 5:52 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

JOHANNESBURG: Nigeria returned to the top of African football on Sunday by beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the Cup of Nations final for its first continental title in nearly two decades.
Sunday Mba’s superb goal in the 40th minute delivered another triumph for coach Stephen Keshi after he captained Nigeria to its last African Cup crown in 1994.
“Winning this tournament is mainly for my nation,” Keshi said. “When I came on board a year and a half ago my dream is to make all Nigerians happy.”
Mba decided the game in front of around 87,000 fans at Soccer City with a left-foot volley into the far right corner after he expertly controlled a rebound and clipped the ball over a defender.
Underdog Burkina Faso fell short of what would have been a surprising triumph in its first final, having progressed beyond the group stage for only the second time at the African championship. The Burkinabes still exceeded all expectations by just making the final.
“Football is football. You have to be great when you win and humble when you lose,” Burkina Faso coach Paul Put said. “Congratulations to Nigeria. Maybe we showed Nigeria too much respect.”
Mba’s goal came after Victor Moses’ shot was blocked, and was worthy of deciding a final. In three swift motions, Mba controlled the ball, chipped it over Mohamed Koffi and then volleyed across goalkeeper Daouda Diakite and into the far right corner for the title-clinching goal.
It gave Nigeria its third African Cup title and made Keshi just the second man to win the tournament as both a player and coach. He is the first black African coach to win the continent’s biggest prize in over 20 years.
“I’m so, so proud of what they did at this tournament,” Keshi said of his team.
Wilfried Sanou had a powerful low shot saved in the 74th minute in Burkina Faso’s best chance for an equalizer, but Nigeria controlled most of the game and wasted a couple of late chances to extend its lead.
The victory ended 19 years of disappointment for Africa’s most populous nation, and also made it the last country to qualify for June’s Confederations Cup in Brazil as continental champion.
Keshi brought Joseph Yobo off the bench in the 89th minute to give the veteran defender and regular captain a chance to finally lift the trophy in his sixth and last African Cup.
“It feels great,” Yobo said. It’s a dream come true. I’ve been around for 11 or 12 years and this is my sixth African Cup. I said it was going to be my last. I’m short of words. This is a massive achievement.”
Moments after the final whistle, the winning players picked up Nigeria flags from their supporters and ran around the field waving them. The players then huddled with their arms lifted before defender Efe Ambrose ran toward the biggest Nigeria fan section and did a series of backflips.
Players danced together just before the medal ceremony and Keshi was carried on the shoulders of some team members, waving to the fans. Yobo then lifted the gold trophy, with players and coaching staff donning green and white t-shirts with the text ‘Nigeria, champions of Africa’ on the front.
Ambrose had hit the first shot of the game inside a minute and then headed a free kick from Moses just over the crossbar in the seventh.
Moses also caused trouble for the Burkina Faso defense and Nigeria was far more enterprising than its underdog opponent in the first quarter. The Chelsea forward beat his marker down the left wing in the 20th — having also threatened earlier down the right — and put in a dangerous low cross that Diakite smothered.
Tall blonde-haired striker Aristide Bance had Burkina Faso’s first real effort in the 25th, but sent it rising high and to the right of Vincent Enyeama’s goal.
Bance’s 28th-minute free kick then skipped just wide of the left post as the Burkinabes began to slowly find their feet in their country’s biggest ever game.
The teams retreated to cautious play toward the end of the first half, with the sellout crowd at Soccer City responding with a wave around the stadium.
Bakary Kone’s header at the back post from Charles Kabore’s deep free kick seven minutes before halftime was well wide.
Minutes later, Mba’s strike gave the Nigerians a deserved lead as his surging run, juggle and quick-witted volley left Diakite stationary near his goal-line as the ball flew past him.
Brown Ideye hit a low shot across the Burkina Faso goal in the opening minutes of the second half after more work from the impressive Moses as Nigeria remained in control.
Burkina Faso was looking to cause a similar upset to Zambia’s victory a year ago, but found its first major final tough going at Johannesburg’s 2010 World Cup final venue, having played all their previous games in Nelspruit. Star player Jonathan Pitroipa, who was cleared to play after having a red card from the semifinals rescinded, failed to make an impact in the game.
Nigeria seemed content with defending its slender lead from around the 70th minute and Burkina Faso began to make some late progress.
After Musa Ahmed slipped when through on goal for Nigeria on a counterattack, Sanou’s blistering low shot at the other hand forced a good save from Vincent Enyeama, who pushed it just inches past the left post.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Thursday that a military option in Syria was still viable and support for the opposition fighting to oust President Bashar Assad would continue.Speaking at a news conference with visiting Austrian Forei...
JEDDAH: Violators of traffic regulations will soon have their licenses withdrawn and be sent back to driving school, according to the Traffic Department.Brig. Gen. Ali Al-Rashidi, the department’s spokesman, said the new regulations would come into f...
JEDDAH: The Labor Ministry has announced that it plans to ensure that only Saudis are hired for data entry jobs in eight sectors of the economy over the next two years.The plan is to create jobs for Saudis but also ensure that customer data is protec...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia blacklisted on Thursday 12 people for supporting and financing Hezbollah’s activities in the Middle East, according to the Ministry of Interior.The people were described as “leaders and officials” from Hezbollah, which was declar...
JEDDAH: Police plan to detain 38 landlords who provided shelter for 351 illegals, including several wanted criminals. Jeddah police already arrested four landlords during raids Wednesday in several districts where illegal expats gather. The raids wer...
JEDDAH: It is the Islamic duty of all citizens to protect the security of their nation, according to Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.Al-Asheikh said that scholars and preachers are required by Islamic law to address problems facing society,...
RIYADH: Prince Sultan University students will launch an application on Dec. 9 for emergency medical services, which would link patients with ambulances.The app would allow people to share their locations, determine the time for an ambulance to arriv...
RIYADH: A man and a woman died in the past 24 hours in rain-related incidents as the capital was lashed by heavy rains. Four more patients also died in the central hospital due to respiratory problems due to the cold weather.Riyadh Civil Defense spok...
RIYADH: The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works (KSCRHW) has started implementing a directive to distribute 200,000 lambs to Yemenis in the Hadramout province.“The aid came within an integrated program for the alleviation of the suff...
MADINAH: The Board of Forensics Medicine in Madinah has cleared a hospital here of negligence involving the death of a citizen at its facility, citing lack of evidence and that the defendants, two consultants, failed to turn up for the hearing.The fa...
JEDDAH: A young Saudi man has won an international innovation award for inventing a “smart boat” that can monitor sea pollution.Abdulaziz bin Mashhoor Al-Shammakhi won the award with 20 young people who were selected from among 700 participants from...
JEDDAH: Umrah pilgrims can expect to save between 10 and 15 percent on the cost of their hotels under a new electronic booking system that cuts out intermediaries.This is according to Abdullah Qadi, deputy president of the national committee for Haj...
RIYADH: Surgery performed at King Khalid Hospital in Najran made a 40-year-old Saudi woman regain her sight which was lost eight months ago.Hospital General Supervisor Abdo Al-Zobayri said here that the patient had lost her sight eight months ago bec...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 women were tested for breast cancer and only 15 positive cases were detected in the capital during the monthlong campaign to fight breast cancer which ended here on Tuesday.Speaking at the closing ceremony of the campaign, D...
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Yusuf Al-Ali issued a decree to ban the import of all types of livestock including cows, goats, sheep, giraffes, camels, lamas, antelopes, and others from markets including Saudi Arabia, France and Sl...

Events & Exhibitions

Stay Connected