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Nigeria Hold Off Ten-Men USA







USA 1-2 Nigeria

Goals from Victor Nsofor Obinna and Promise Isaac had Nigeria in the driving seat before a late Sacha Kljestan penalty for the ten-men US ensured a nervy finish...

The teams lined up in Beijing at the Workers’ stadium on a hot, humid evening in China’s capital. The air was full of smog, but that did nothing to cut the tension between these two nations. It was do-or-die for both of these sides as they both needed a win, or had to rely on external factors regarding the match between Holland and Japan.

First Half

After the usual routine of national anthems, team line-ups and the coin toss the first half started dramatically. After only three minutes Wolfgang Stark deemed it necessary to flash red, in the direction of American full-back Michael Orozco. Indeed, after replay inspection an elbow was thrown in the direction of the Nigerian and Stark did well to spot it.

The Nigerians controlled the proceedings as the half wore on after a bright start from the Americans. The red card had knock-on affects; Chibuzor Okonkwo posed constant threats down the right. The full-back played more like a winger and exploited the space left by Orozco.

The breakthrough came on 39 minutes via a well worked goal scored by Isaac Promise. The twenty-year-old captain, who once had trials at Manchester United, tapped in from six-yards after Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi stormed down the left, skinned a defender a crossed in to Isaac.

The only American highlight from the first half was a pacy run from Toronto FC’s full-back Marvell Wynne. He stormed down the right, and got in to the box, only to cross poorly for Brian McBride which ruined his fruitful run. The first half ended 1-0 to Nigeria.

Second Half

Pioter Nowak deemed it necessary at half time to make changes, and he replaced the disappointing Jozy Altidore for Derby County’s midfielder Benny Feilhaber. However, Feilhaber was booked for dissent and moments later nearly scored an own goal, with Brad Guzan making a great reaction save. Nigeria quickly took advantage of America’s ten men, and pressured fluently in the second half.

On 79 minutes Victor Obinna rounded off a great goal. The Chive man took on two defenders and blasted a shot in to the top right, too far for the over stretched Guzan.

After the goal, and substitutions from both sides the last ten minutes became somewhat farcical. Nigerian goalkeeper Ambruse Vanzekin came close to a red card after hacking down an American in the box giving away a penalty, and gaining a yellow card for his troubles. Sascha Kljestan scored his second goal of the tournament from the penalty spot, whilst the USA continued to pile on the pressure during the four minutes of injury time.

In stoppage time, both sides hit the crossbar, substitute Charlie Davies’s free header hit the bar and at the other end Robbie Roger’s defensive lapse nearly cost him an own goal. The game ended 2-1 to Nigeria, which means the Super eagles fly on, whilst the American dream is over.

Teams

USA- Guzan; Wynne, Orozco, Parkhurst; Edu, Holden (Davies), Szetela (McCarty), Rogers, Kljestan; Altidore (Feilhaber), McBride.

Nigeria- Vanzekin; Okonkwo, Adeleye, Ambrose; James, Kaita, Isaac (Anichebe), Ajilore (Ekpo); Ogbuke Obasi, Obinna, Okoronkwo (Odemwingie).

Goals: Isaac, Obinna; Kljestan (p).



Promise and Obinna helped Nigeria to secure a 2-1 victory over United States. Kljestan managed to score one penalty goal for United States in the 88th minute just before the final whistle.



39′ 1-0 I. Promise

79′ 2-0 V.N. Obinna

88′ 2-1 S. Kljestan



39′ 1-0 I. Promise






79′ 2-0 V.N. Obinna


88′ 2-1 S. Kljestan





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Nigeria Hold Off Ten-Men USA Reviewed by admin Ucop on 5:02 PM Rating: 5

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