Super Eagles crush Elephants dreams
Nigeria on Sunday rallied to beat Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in a thrilling quarterfinal showdown in Rustenburg to reach 2013 AFCON semi finals and end Elephant dreams.
Nigeria ended a two-match AFCON winless run against their arch-foes in Rustenburg but it did little to settle the feud as to who is West Africa and ultimately the continents best.
The Ivoirians started off stronger in a first half that was litter with free kicks that saw Didier Drogba send one wide in the 6th minute.
His former Chelsea team mate and Nigeria striker Victor Moses also took one two minutes later but Brown Ideye’s header went wide.
On 23 minutes, Ivorian winger Cheik Tiote cracked a long range effort but that didn’t bother Vincent Enyeama.
Three minutes later, Emmanuel Emenike missed a glorious chance from close range from Uwa Echiejile pass.
Emenike made no mistake in the 41st minute with the opener after whipping in a cheeky indirect free kick off Mikel Obi to see them take a 1-0 halftime lead.
However, Cote d’Ivoire came back fighting and level six minute after the break through Tiote.
Tiote crushed in an unstoppable free kick taken by Drogba to put the contest back on track. However, Nigeria but were frustrated with offside calls on Moses and Emenike.
Nigeria sealed their semifinal place in vintage Eagles fashion through Sunday Mba in the 76th minute.
Mba rolled back the days of Daniel Amoukachi when raced the entire length of the Ivoirians own half, beating three defenders to unleashed powerful right footed drive that sealed Nigeria’s passage to the semifinals.
Nigeria face Mali on February 6 in Durban in search of the first final appearance since 2000.
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