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Zambia claim valuable point

Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria (right) celebrating the opening goal.

Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria (right) celebrating the opening goal.

NELSPRUIT – Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene scored a controversial late penalty as Zambia came from behind to draw 1-1 with Nigeria in Group C of the African Cup of Nations at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa today.

Mweene – who had saved a John Obi Mikel†spot-kick in the first half – coolly planted the ball into the top right corner after Nigeria defender Ogenyi Onazi was harshly adjudged to have fouled Emmanuel Mayuka.

Nigeria had led through a 57th-minute strike from the impressive Emmanuel Emenike, with the Super Eagles on balance the better side but Zambia having also spurned some great chances before finally drawing level.

The result means defending champions Zambia and two-times winners Nigeria have drawn their opening two matches at these finals, with Ethiopia and Burkina Faso who played in the evening.

Meanwhile yesterday Niger earned a historic first point at the African Cup of Nations to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the last eight with a 0-0 draw against DR Congo in Port Elizabeth.

Niger coach Gernot Rohr had set his heart on leading his side to a first point from this tournament after several fruitless attempts in previous years, but may well wonder how Niger did not take three after enjoying the best moments of the second half.

The final round of fixtures leaves Niger needing to overcome group leaders Ghana on Monday to qualify for the last eight with DR Congo facing Mali chasing three points to book their spot in the quarter-finals.

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