Super Eagles 1-1 Pharaohs: Africa Cup of Nations Qualification – Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna
The Super Eagles of Nigeria could not hold on to a valuable second-half goal in their encounter with Egypt as they gave away a precious late minute equaliser to Egypt.
All seemed to be going on well when Etebo Oghenekaro slotted the football past Ahmed El-Shennawi .
The goal gave Samson Siasia’s boys a deserved lead against the Pharaohs who were dogged in defence.
The shocker came when Mohammed Salah scored a late equaliser to rescue Egypt from defeat in their third Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game.
The AS Roma striker scored in stoppage time to save Hector Cuper’s side’s blushes after Etebo Oghenekaro’s goal looked like it had given the Eagles the win
Kelechi Iheanacho hit the crossbar with a fierce shot and the Warri Wolves midfielder tuck home the rebound to the North Africans’ dismay.
The Nigerian side Nigeria were upbeat they had won the game and were already in celebration mood when Salah struck.
He beat the offside trap in the 90th minute to fire past impressive Carl Ikeme to save Hector Cuper’s side from defeat.
Super Eagles continue to trail Group G leaders Pharaohs by two points, while Tanzania are back up to third in the table, three points adrift Egypt in the race to Gabon 2017.
Samson Siasia’s men struggled for rhythm in the early stages of the match as they often gave the ball away cheaply in the final third of the pitch.
Belgian Pro League clubside KAA Gent forward Simon Moses was particularly wasteful when in an advanced position for the Super Eagles.
Egypt should have taken the lead when Ahmed Hassan was played behind the Eagles’ defence and put one-on-one with Ikeme but couldn’t find the target firing wide of the post.
The home side were looking dangerous and Cuper’s men were grateful to El-Shennawi who made a great block to deny Ahmed Musa’s goal-bound effort after the striker had found space inside the area.
Nigeria finally carved out an opening in the 34th minute when Simon raided down the right and hit a sublime cross towards the penalty spot.
He found Ighalo who headed the ball towards goal but El-Shennawi made an excellent save.
Iheanacho and Mikel were struggling to take control of the midfield with many misplaced passes which often put the visitors on the back.
Efe Ambrose nearly made them pay for one mistake when the hosts hit them on the counter but his shot from outside the area hit the bar before going over.
Nigeria came out in the second half with more impetus and Iheanacho, who was anonymous for most of the opening period, came to life.
He saw his effort kiss the cross bar before Oghenekaro tapped home.
The Super Eagles were really starting to hit their stride and should have doubled the lead through Ighalo who missed the target from just five yards after an expert pinpoint cross by Musa.
Despite Nigeria’s dominance in the second-half, Egypt still looked dangerous on the break.
Elneny almost pulled his side back after being put behind the Eagles’ defence but Godfrey Oboabona was equal to his shot making a good save to turn the ball past the post.
Nigeria’s victory joy was short-lived when Etebo played Salah onside in stoppage time and the Roma winger volleyed into the net from six-yards to save the Pharaohs from defeat.
The two teams will clash in a return leg in four days when the Pharaohs play host to the Super Eagles.
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