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AFCON 2017: Eagles' ticket in danger.

March 26
03:07:40 2016
Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Friday night in Kaduna, suffered a setback as the Super Eagles settled for a 1-1 draw with the Pharaohs of Egypt in a group G qualifier.
Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Friday night in Kaduna, suffered a setback as the Super Eagles settled for a 1-1 draw with the Pharaohs of Egypt in a group G qualifier.

Playing under a new coach, Samson Siasia and new captain, Mikel Obi, the Eagles played to the admiration of fans at the capacity-filled Ahmadu Bello Stadium, but were unable to sustain their lead till the final whistle.

Goalkeeper Carl Ikeme prevented what would have given the Egyptians lead in the 18th minute when he deflected grounder from Ahmed Hassan ‘Kouka into corner kick.

Manchester City star, Kelechi Iheanacho almost snatched the curtain raiser before half time with a low, goal-bound shot, but goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawi’s quick response saved the situation for the Pharaohs.

After a stalemate, the Eagles came back stronger in the second half and got rewarded for their persistent goal raids in the 60th minute when Oghenekaro Etebo scrambled home off a rebound after Kelechi Iheanacho’s sizzler came off the post with goalkeeper El-Shennawi already displaced.

  The goal gingered the Eagles which also paraded the likes of Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Simon Moses, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, but poor marksmanship robbed them of increasing the tally.

The introduction West Ham United player, Victor Moses added bite to the Eagles attack, but the Pharaohs proved more organised especially in the defence to remain in the game by not conceeding another goal.

Moses had his goal-bound effort cleared off the net in the 84th minute by Hamada Tolba, who instead landed in the net after his breath-taking effort to prevent Nigeria from increasing the lead. Arsenal wonder kid, Alex Iwobi came on in the 82nd minute.

As Nigerians were heading for celebration, AS Roma player, Mohammed Salah cashed in on a loose ball to beat Ikeme with a grounder during stoppage time.

Egypt maintains lead on the table with seven points, as Nigeria follows with five points, while Tanzania which recorded a 1-0 away win over Chad is now third with three points.

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