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Eagles walk tight rope, draw 0-0 against Tunisia

The Eagles needed total victory in yesterday’s game to take over the leadership of group B from Tunisia who still leads the group with seven…

The Eagles needed total victory in yesterday’s game to take over the leadership of group B from Tunisia who still leads the group with seven points as against Nigeria’s five.

The Coach Amodu-led Eagles who were visibly satisfied with the barren draw were a shadow of themselves, playing as if there was nothing at stake before a half-filled stadium crowd.

The match started on a cautions note as both sides avoided early raids, but it was the hosts who made the first incursion with Oussama Darragi and Ali Zitouni mounting pressure on the Joseph Yobo-led Super Eagles defence resulting in five corner kicks in the first half.  

Host Tunisia dominated the first half with the Nigerian team on the defensive, allowing the Tunisians to penetrate their area any time the Tunisians were in control of proceedings.

Nigeria’s real charge at the Tunisia goal area was in the 20th minute when Obinna Nsofor’s cross was too high for tired Uche Ikechukwu to tap in for Nigeria’s goal.

Another effort at goal by John Mikel Obi was blocked by Rahidi Jaidi and a counter attack by dangerman Zitouni almost paid off but for the timely intervention of Dele Adeleye who stretched full length to clear before the surging Zitouni.

Thereafter Kalu Uche and Obinna Nsofor missed putting Nigeria in the driving seat with their efforts thwarted by Hamdi Kasraoui in goal for the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia before the break.      

In the second half Coach Amodu re-enforced his team with the introduction of Kanu Nwanko for Kalu Uche, Mike Eneramo for injured Obinna Nsofor and John Utaka for Ikechukwu Uche; while Tunisia also made three maximum charges with no goal from either side before the Malian referee blew the final whistle.

With the result, the Super Eagles now require all maximum points in the remaining two home matches against Tunisia and Mozambique and the away tie against Kenya and also pray that Tunisia draw or lose one of their remaining three games to qualify for them to qualify.