Nigeria now have just a single point from their first 2 games in the African Cup of Nations as they could only draw with Mali in Sekondi last night.
Oba Martins – played 45 minutes last night against Mali
Berti Vogts is now under considerable pressure and Nigeria will now have to beat the already eliminated Benin in their final match next Tuesday, and hope that Mali slip up, for Nigeria to continue in the tournament.
Newcastleâ€™s Oba Martins played only the first half last night, before being replaced by Utaka. Fredi Kanoute had Mali’s best chance of the night in injury time but fired the ball over the cross-bar after Seydou Keita had hit the bar. Aiyegbeni had a goal ruled out for offside for Nigeria after 75 minutes, in a match that was filled with tension from the start.
Nigeria is the highest ranked side in Africa, and if they fail to go forward from the group stages it will be a tremendous disappointment for the country. If they don’t qualify then Oba Martins will be making a quick return to Tyneside.
Newcastleâ€™s Oba Martins tested goalkeeper Mahamadou Sidibe with a low shot from outside the penalty area, but Nigeria lacked potency, and has so far failed to score a goal in the tournament.
Nigeria have not looked good in this tournament in their first two games and will need to improve if they are to stay in the competition.
Ejide, Yobo, Taiwo, Nwaneri, Shittu, Obi, Olofinjana, Odemwingie (Uche 58), Obinna (Makinwa 84), Yakubu, Martins (Utaka 46).
Subs Not Used: Aiyenugbu, Enyeama, Afolabi, Apam, Emeghara, Eromoigbe, Etuhu, Okonkwo, Kanu.
Mahamadou Sidibe, Tamboura, Adama Coulibaly, Diamoutene, Amadou Sidibe (Dembele 86), Kante, Diarra, Keita, Mohamed Sissoko (Drissa Diakite 82), Kanoute, Dramane Traore (Diallo 74).
Subs Not Used: Soumalia Diakite, Oumar Sissoko, Moussa Coulibaly, Kone, Sammy Traore, Djibril Sidibe, Dissa, Mamady Sidibe, Toure.
Ref: El Abderrahim (Morrocco).