Nigeria snatch draw, Eto’o bags brace in World Cup qualifiers

African champions Nigeria snatched a dramatic draw and there were vital wins for Burkina Faso, Cameroon and South Africa on Saturday in World Cup qualifiers.

Nnamdi Oduamadi, who was not part of the 2013 Cup of Nations-winning squad last month, equalised three minutes into stoppage time after 17-year-old Francis Kahata had given Kenya a shock first-half lead in Calabar.

Burkina Faso, runners-up to Nigeria in South Africa after a giantkilling run that far exceeded expectations, trounced Niger 4-0 at home in a must-win match, although the impact was diluted as group leaders Congo Brazzaville also won.

Record four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o scored in each half as fallen giants Cameroon used home advantage to win 2-1 against Emmanuel Adebayor-less Togo and take the Group I lead.

Thabo Matlaba and Bernard Parker were on target as wasteful South Africa won 2-0 in Cape Town over Central African Republic, whose capital Bangui fell this weekend to rebels opposing President Francois Bozize.

There were also victories for Ivory Coast, playing without dropped icon Didier Drogba, Malawi and Tunisia while 2013 Cup of Nations flops Angola fought back to hold Senegal.

Kenya captain Victor Wanyama, from Scottish champions Celtic, predicted his side would stun Nigeria, and they came agonisingly close after Kahata scored from a free kick.

But the Super Eagles salvaged a draw three minutes into additional time when the Harambee Stars failed to clear and Oduamadi earned his country a point that left them ahead of Malawi in Group F on goals scored.

Malawi upset Namibia 1-0 in Windhoek through a mid-second half goal from Gabadin Mhango to give caretaker coach Edington Ng’onamo a win in his first competitive outing.

Ivory Coast, whose fifth consecutive failure to justify favouritism at a Cup of Nations cost Drogba his place, outplayed Gambia 3-0 in Abidjan through goals from Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou.

Tunisia moved five points clear of Sierra Leone in Group B after winning the top-of-the-table clash 2-1 in Rades with Oussama Darragi and Wahbi Khazri on target before Alhassan Kamara reduced arrears.

Giant Queens Park Rangers centre-back Christopher Samba was the Congo match-winner against Gabon in Pointe Noire, snatching the only goal on 67 minutes to give the Red Devils a six-point Group E advantage.

Senegal, playing a first competitive game under French coach Alain Giresse, took a first half lead through Moussa Sow in Conakry only for Amaro Costa to equalise for Angola 15 minutes from time.

The fixture was moved to the Guinea capital because of a one-year ban on the national stadium in Dakar after crowd trouble forced a Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast to be abandoned last October.

Jonathan Pitropia, voted player of the tournament at the 2013 Africa Cup, gave Burkina Faso a third-minute lead, Aristide Bance hit the second before half-time and Charles Kabore and Prejuce Nakoulma added late goals.

Another nine qualifiers will be played Sunday and a further two fixtures Tuesday will bring the mini-league competition to the halfway stage with the 10 group winners advancing to the knockout final phase.

Read more :
  • Brian Gay reaps reward after long battle to add yards
    LA QUINTA, California - Brian Gay's quest to add length to his driving led to a frustrating 2012 campaign but his increased yardage off the tee helped him clinch his fourth PGA Tour victory...
  • PVF to send squad to Thailand tilt
    THE Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) under acting president Karl Geoffrey Lee Chan is assembling a women’s volleyball team for the 2013 Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championship o...
  • Wozniacki hits out at on-court grunting
    Caroline Wozniacki has claimed that female tennis players scream loudly during tennis matches "on purpose". The 21-year-old believes that a number of female competitors grunt in order to g...
  • Falcons’ Gonzalez bows out with sadness but no regrets
    ATLANTA - Tony Gonzalez's dream of ending his career with a Super Bowl vanished as the tight end's Atlanta Falcons fell victim to a record comeback by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Cha...
  • Te’o tells Katie Couric he lied to maintain hoax
    NEW YORK - Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o told ABC News' Katie Couric that he had lied to keep up a hoax involving a nonexistent dying girlfriend once he learned he had been duped two ...
  • N. Cotabato Pug ‘Kapre’ exudes giant potential
    Lightweight Roskie Cristobal, 18, and 5′ 11″ towers over his teammates (from left) miniflyweight Rommel Asenjo, jr. featherweight Ronie Apilado, bantamweight Rolando Magbanua an...
  • Dutch, amateur show up local aces in Palos Verdes
    Dutch Guido Van der Valk humbled the revered men of the tour, including Davao’s top guns, as he turned in a five-under 66 to emerge the surprise solo leader – one shot ahead of amateur LJ G...
  • Pacquiao vows to help young fighters
    Manny Pacquiao with new champion Edrin Dapudong, PT Jeff de Guzman and former North Cotabato gov. Manny Pinol. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Filipino boxing icon and Saranggani Lone District Represent...