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Nigeria 1-0 Burkina Faso

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Mba: Goal hero

Mba: Goal hero

Sunday Mba fired Nigeria to Africa Cup of Nations glory with the only goal of an enthralling final against Burkina Faso at the National Stadium on Sunday evening.

Mba gave his side a precious lead after 40 minutes with a sublime piece of skill that they held onto for the remainder of the match.

The Super Eagles had in reality been the superior side all night with Jonathan Pitroipa, Aristide Bance and Prejuce Nakoulma unable to assert themselves on the match.

Efe Ambrose was the first player to unleash an effort with any real threat but his header from an early free-kick flew just over the target.

Victor Moses was a live wire all night but his good run and subsequent cross was eventually cut out by Paul Koulibaly.

Daouda Diakite almost gifted Brown Ideye an opening goal after 10 minutes after dropping the ball in the box following a corner but the Nigerian powered his effort over the target from close range.

Both side's played some attractive football with Pitroipa and Bance combining well before the latter's return ball was over hit while John Obi Mikel tried to tee up Ideye who's first touch inside the box let him down.

Diakite then did well to get to a stinging low cross from the left from Moses who shifted up a gear to easily beat two defenders out wide on the left.

Bance brought the ball down well on his chest moments later but skied his effort over the target.

But the goal that the Super Eagles where threatening to score duly came with five first-half minutes remaining as Mba picked up a loose ball inside the box after a Moses shot was deflected away, before chipping over Mohamed Koffi and smashing his shot into the back of the net.

Moses continued where he left off in the first-half at the start of the second with a brilliant drive across the big box before feeling Ideye who turned his man expertly, but his shot from almost on the goal-line went straight across the face of goal.

Moses then carried the ball the full length of the field as Nigeria broke following a poor Burkinabe attack but with options to his right, he delayed and was only able to hit a into a number of defenders, with the ball finding its way into the hands of Diakite.

Burkina Faso raised their game as they went in search of an equaliser and won a succession of corners that Nigeria struggled to deal with before eventually clearing their lines.

Wilfried Sanou was introduced in the 65th minute and he almost made an immediate impact as he drew a world-class save from Enyeama that was sneaking in at the keeper's back post.

Ideye fed Mba just outside the box who let rip with a shot that flew high and wide as Nigeria tried to exploit the space that opened up as a result of Burkina Faso pushing forwards, while another substitute Ahmed Musa's super run down the left and good low cross almost caused mayhem inside the box after a poor touch from Koffi before being cleared while seconds later Diakite had to be alert to get to the ball ahead of Ideye.

But try as they might, the Stallions were not able to break down Nigeria who held on for a 1-0 win.

Posted: 10/02/13 21:34

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