Africa Cup of Nations Final: Nigeria 1-0 Burkina Faso (full-time result)
39' Sunday Mba
Nigeria: Enyeama; Ambrose, Oboabona, Omeruo, Elderson; Mba, Mikel, Onazi; Moses, Ideye, Uche
Burkina Faso: Diakite; Koffi, B.Kone, Koulibally, Panandetiguiri; D.Kone, Rouamba, Kabore, Pitroipa; Nakoulma, Bance
Nigeria became the fourth nation to win at least three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (Ghana, Cameroon and Egypt are the others) following their 1-0 win over West African rivals Burkina Faso on Sunday.
It was Sunday Mba, one of the five domestic-based players included in manager Stephen Keshi's squad, who scored the contest's only goal after Chelsea's Victor Moses did well to keep the ball in play inside the 18-yard box. Ikechukwu Uche also had a touch in the build-up, but Mba still had to do ever so well to control the ball, flick it over the top of the defender and lash it low and hard inside the far post.
Burkina Faso, appearing in their first Cup of Nations final, accomplished very little over the 90 minutes despite repeated attempts to spring Aristide Bance in attack. Jonathan Pitroipa, who was later named Player of the Tournament, was completely overshadowed on the wing by Efe Ambrose and Moses, and the latter could have made it 2-0 to the Super Eagles midway through the scond half had he not taken an ill-timed stumble.
Ahmed Musa, who eventually replaced Uche, also found himself in acres of space in front of goal but, like Moses, had only himself to blame when he landed square on his backside as the ball dribbled harmlessly past him.
It was this sort of wastefulness on the part of Nigeria that kept Burkina Faso in with a shout until the very end. But even after the introduction of iconic striker Moumouni Dagano, they still could not muster a single, meaningful chance.
In the end it was Nigeria's midfield play, marshalled by the exceptional John Obi Mikel, that delivered the championship. In winning the Cup of Nations, Keshi will now boast continental winners' medals as both a player and a manager.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!