Nigeria 2-2 Tunisia: Advantage Carthage Eagles

Tunis Tunisia earned a valuable 2-2 draw away in Nigeria to stay in the driving seat in Group Two as they look to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Nigeria were forced to a 2-2 draw by visiting Tunisia in a 2010 World Cup qualifying match played at the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday.

The Super Eagles looked like they had got the result they needed when Esperance striker Michael Eneramo scored Nigeria’s second goal with 10 minutes left on the clock, only for Oussama Darragi to snatch a last-gasp equaliser.

Thus Tunisia remain top of Group Two with eight points from four matches, two points clear of second-placed Nigeria.

Mozambique climbed to third place after they pipped Kenya 1-0 in Maputo. The Harambee Stars are bottom of the standings with three points.

Russia-based Osaze Odemwingie opened scoring after 23 minutes when he collected a pass from the lively Ikechukwu Uche before he darted past two Tunisian defenders before thundering his shot from inside the box to the roof of the net.

Tunisia drew level two minutes later when Sliti Nabil, with all the space in the world, also produced a rocket of a shot from outside the box beyond a diving Vincent Enyeama.

From kick-off, as expected the home team took the attacking initiative with Ikechukwu Uche and Odemwingie threatening the Tunisian goal. A combination between the strikers allowed Odemwingie to take a crack at goal but it missed the target.

Tunisia would have gone ahead in the 20th minute after Lens striker Issam Jemaa got to the end of a through pass before he rounded up Enyeama but his final effort hit the side netting to the relief of the 60,000-packed crowd at the Abuja National Stadium.

The North Africans created several chances thereafter. Enyeama saved a shot by Ben Saada after 36 minutes and Saada again came close to getting his name on the scoreboard when his freekick from the edge of the box a minute later was off the mark.

A minute after skipper Karim Haggui fended off a goal burst by Ikechukwu Uche.

Nigeria continued to attack on resumption of the second half, but looked increasingly vulnerable when the Tunisians attacked.

In the 51st minute, Obasi could not get a hold onto his shot, which rolled across the face of the Tunisian goal.

Espreance striker Michael Eneramo replaced Seyi Olofinjana for the Super Eagles and within a minute saw his header miss the target by inches.

At the other end of the pitch, Enyeama saved off the feet of the ever dangerous Jemaa while a minute later, Nigeria had to thank the woodwork when a misdirected header by Adeleye off a free kick struck the frame of the goal.

Nigeria fought back and deservedly reclaimed the lead in the 80th minute when substitute Eneramo stabbed home after a great attacking play that involved Mikel Obi and Obinna Nsofor.

However, another Esperance striker Darragi ensured there will be no victory party in Abuja with a last-ditch equaliser.


~ by footballdirecta on September 7, 2009.

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