African Nations Cup: Efe Ambrose sent off as Nigeria held
CELTIC defender Efe Ambrose was sent off yesterday afternoon as Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso in Group C of the African Nations Cup.
Nigeria appeared to have done enough to secure a laboured win thanks to an opportunist 23rd-minute goal by Emmanuel Emineke who reacted faster than the defenders to a clever flick by Brown Ideye.
They failed to add to their lead, though, and had Ambrose red-carded in the 73rd minute after tangling with Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa. Then, with the last seconds ticking down and the referee looking at his watch for the final time, Burkina Faso carved open Nigeria’s defence allowing Alain Traore to equalise.
Victor Moses was left on the bench by Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, but his Chelsea team-mate, John Obi Mikel, put in a solid performance and was named man of the match.
There was a red card in yesterday’s other Group C match, as ten-man Ethiopia celebrated their return to the African Nations Cup for the first time since 1982 by holding defending champions Zambia to a 1-1 draw.
Ethiopia fans hurled vuvuzelas and other debris on to the pitch in anger after the first-half sending off of their goalkeeper, Jemal Tassew, causing an eight-minute delay to the match.
But their anger turned to unbridled joy when Adane Girma’s 65th-minute strike cancelled out Collins Mbesuma’s opener.
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