After almost two decades of bad fortune at the African Cup of Nations, Nigeria has returned to the top of football on the continent beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the decider.
Sunday Mba's goal late in the first half made the difference in the final. The midfielder produced a master-piece in front of around 87,000-strong crowd at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg with a left-foot volley into the far right corner after he collected a rebound and tossed the ball over a defender.
Nigeria did well even without its key striker Emanuel Emenike, who was forced to miss the game due to injury. It didn’t stop the Spartak Moscow star from becoming the best goal scorer of the tournament with 4 goals in 5 games.
Another man behind Nigeria’s success, Stephen Keshi, who captained Nigeria to its last African Cup crown in 1994, has now lifted the trophy as a coach.
As for Burkina Faso, underdogs before the tournament they fell short of repeating Zambia’s surprise win at the previous Cup of Nations. They progressed beyond the group stage for only the second time in the tournament’s history and then beat continental powers Togo and Ghana on their way to the final.
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