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 :
  • Neville brothers to coach England under-21s
    Phil Neville has joined brother Gary in taking up a coaching role with England after being named in the backroom staff of the country's under-21 side for this summer's European Championship...
  • ROSE VICTORY INSPIRES ENGLISH GOLFERS
    ARDMORE, Pennsylvania: Justin Rose’s breakthrough win at the US Open could open the door for England’s golden generation of golfers to finally make their collective mark in the record books...
  • Rafael Nadal defends Andy Murray
    Rafael Nadal has jumped the to the defence of Andy Murray after recent criticism over his back injury. The Scot struggled during his second-round win over Jarkko Nieminen during the French...
  • NCAA Season 89 unfolds
    San Beda College commences its campaign for a fourth straight title with a bout against host Saint Benilde College while title contenders San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags and Letran Kn...
  • Djokovic’s ironman qualities tested again in Melbourne
    MELBOURNE - Novak Djokovic once had a reputation for wilting when the physical strain became too much - not anymore. In 2009, extreme heat forced him to retire during the quarter-finals at...
  • No sympathy for Armstrong on social media
    LONDON - Lance Armstrong's televised doping confession has done nothing to restore his shattered reputation, a study of responses posted to the Twitter social media site showed. "What was ...
  • 2014 World Cup qualifying: Robin van Persie scores twice as Netherlands beat Romania
    Manchester United star Robin van Persie bagged a brace as the Netherlands continued their march to Brazil with a 4-0 win over Romania on Tuesday at the Amsterdam Arena. In so doing the 29-...
  • Federer skips Switzerland’s Davis Cup opener
    LONDON - Davis Cup champions the Czech Republic will not have to worry about facing Roger Federer in the opening round of their defense after he was left out of Switzerland's team for the G...