Malawi fight back to hold Nigeria

Peter Kanjere

The Super Eagles of Nigeria stay top of group F of the 2014 World Cup African qualifiers after grinding out a 1-1 draw with Malawi at packed Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre where the drama was saved for the last five minutes.

Gabriel Rubin Shalu thought he had snatched a win for the Super Eagles when he thumped in a header past Malawi goalkeeper Simplex Nthala in the 89th minute from a free kick only for substitute John Banda to drill in the equalizer in added time and salvage a point.

Malawi stand in captain Moses Chavula had fouled Uzoenyi Christian wide on the left near the corner to earn the Super Eagles a free kick which he took for Shalu to head in.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi had almost started celebrating a second consecutive win only for Banda to scramble in the leveler after some hesitant defending which had the defence struggling to clear a high ball only for the captain Enyeama to punch the ball onto the path of Banda.

He had come in for Spain’s Atletico Madrid youth team teenager Robin Ngalande to give then home crowd some relief. It was a fifth consecutive draw for Malawi in all competitions this year.

Nigeria lead the pack with four points while Malawi, who also drew in Kenya last week, have two points.

Nigeria: Vincent Enyeama, Oboabona Itama, Gabriel Rubin Shalu, Ambrose Eric, Egweukwe Emmanuel, John Utaka, Mwankwo Obiora, Victor Moses (Mwanchukwu Stephen), Oshaniwa Ayo, Uzoenyi Christian.

Malawi: Simplex Nthala, Foster Namwela, Moses Chavula, Limbikani Mzava, James Sangala, Dave Banda, Joseph Kamwendo, Robin Ngalande (John Banda), Chimango Kaira (Robert Ng’ambi), Russel Mwafulirwa (Chiukepo Msowoya).


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