Nigeria vs. Burkina Faso: AFCON Final Live Score, Highlights, Recap
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.
The text isn't in English, but I just had to post an image of Joseph Yobo lifting the Cup of Nations trophy. One of African football's great defenders.
Man of the tournament is Jonathan Pitroipa.— Claudia (@Claudshavin) February 10, 2013
Well, they wouldn't have got this far without him.
Looks like Obi got Man of the Match and Moses the Fair Play award. Word is Pitroipa has been named Player of the Tournament, and if that's true, I'm sorry, it's a ridiculous decision. No disrespect to Pitroipa, who was excellent, but John Obi Mikel was the best player at this competition.
Victor Moses has been named Man of the Match.
Without question, my player of the tournament is John Obi Mikel. He was calm, composed and mature in the centre of the park for Nigeria, and ended up quarterbacking the Super Eagles all the way to the title.
NIGERIA ARE AFRICAN CHAMPIONS FOR THE THIRD TIME!
Should they pull this out, Nigeria will become one of just four countries to have at least three Cup of Nations crowns to their name, joining Cameroon (4), Ghana (4) and Egypt (7).
92' Yellow Card for Ideye Brown.
There will be four minutes of added time.
90' Substitution: Razack has replaced D.Kone for Burkina Faso.
89' Substitution: Joseph Yobo has replaced Sunday Mba for Nigeria. So Keshi has decided to shut up shop.
86' Exquisite stuff from Nigeria. Musa plays a lovely ball across the face of goal but Ideye Brown couldn't latch onto it. Diakite may have just done enough.
84' Substitution: Moumouni Dagano, the Burkinabe Shevchenko, has come on for Paul Koulibaly. Burkina Faso keep trying to spring their forwards, so they might as well have another one on the pitch.
82' Under 10 minutes to go in Soccer City and Nigeria still lead Burkina Faso by a goal, courtesy of S81unday Mba. Burkina Faso really haven't troubled Enyeama and keep trying to pick out Bance with long balls, and overall Nigeria have been quite comfortable. But they have also been wasteful, and will that come back to bite them?
Nigerian fans chanting: "All we are saying, give us more goals!" 77'— Gary (@garyalsmith) February 10, 2013
As long as only a single goal separates these two sides it's very much game-on, despite the fact that Burkina Faso have been able to muster very little.
73' Musa loses his footing as he was about to have a go! What a blunder! Between that and the Victor Moses stumble, Nigeria have at least two occasions to look back on where they might well have scored. Will they end up regretting it?
71' Yellow Card for Oshaniwa, who had just replaced Elderson Echiejile at left-back for Nigeria.
Speaking of FIFA rankings, tomorrow on this site I'll be publishing my "alternative FIFA rankings." Obviously Spain will be first, but after that...
65' Substitution: Sanu replaces Rouamba for Burkina Faso. Rouamba is on a booking.
See what confidence does to a player. Mba suddenly looking like Lothar Matthaus.— Tome (@ACMilandrew) February 10, 2013
And he's one of the five domestic players Keshi brought into the squad in place of the brats (Odemwingie, Martins, etc.).
Wonder how long it will be before we see the Burkinabe legend that is Moumouni Dagano?
59' Traore's free-kick is headed on by Bance, but Enyeama was perfectly positioned for an easy save.
57' Yellow Card for Omeruo who clipped the tricky Pitroipa.
'54 Substitution: And it's just as we suspected. Musa replaces Uche for Nigeria. So there will be even more wing-play in this final, it seems.
Good pressure from Nigeria every time Burkina Faso have the ball. Haven't seen a Super Eagles side this disciplined in my life, to be honest. Keshi has them drilled.
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