Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: World Cup Qualification: Nigeria wins,Tunisia Draws!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

World Cup Qualification: Nigeria wins,Tunisia Draws!

Emmanuel Emenike converted a 90th-minute penalty for a second-half brace to lead Nigeria to a 2-1 win in Ethiopia in their World Cup playoff on Sunday, putting the African champion in a strong position to play at football's main event in Brazil next year.

In Sunday's other playoff game, Samuel Eto'o reversed his brief international retirement and captained Cameroon in a 0-0 draw in Tunisia in their first leg, leaving his country with a slight advantage ahead of its house game next month.

Nigeria, this year's African Cup winner, needed a late comeback in Addis Ababa after a definite Ethiopia dominated with its high-paced passing game for the first hour. Nigeria's Godfrey Oboabona had to sure off the line in the 23rd to deny Saladin Said an early goal for the Ethiopians and Behailu Assefa then put the hosts ahead in the 57th when goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama fumbled his shot into the net.

But Fenerbahce forward Emenike equalized 10 minutes later and struck from the spot at the end to give Nigeria a lead to take to its home leg in Calabar on Nov. 16. Ethiopia is trying to attain its first ever World Cup but was left to rue a string of missed early chances as Nigeria closed in upon its fifth vacation to the tournament out of the last six.

Ethiopia was convinced Saladin's first-half attempt had crossed the line before Oboabona's clearance, and the country's football federation said it would register a complaint with the Confederation of African Football against referee Neant Alioum of Cameroon.

Charles Itandje was the hero for Cameroon as a superb display from the goalkeeper earned the side a goalless draw away to Tunisia in the first-leg of their 2014 World Cup qualifying play-off upon Sunday.

The Indomitable Lions shot stopper was called into action just 10 seconds after the kick off as he needed to save out a shot from Amine Chermiti, who was again foiled a few moments later following a blistering start from the hosts.

Wissem Ben Yahia's fierce drive from the edge of the place then saw the keeper acrobatically tip the ball to safety, while Chermiti was once again denied as he saw his header palmed away.

Jean Makoun had the first chance for the visitors but scuffed a shot broad after having the ball cut back by Samuel Eto'o, while Ben Fakhreddine Youssef and Pierre Webo were also wasteful in front of goal.

In the end, though, neither side could locate a way through as the match finished level pegging, with the sides now set to clash in the second-leg in Cameroon. 

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