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Ikeme Denies Taifa Stars Victory

Posted: Sep 6, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Peter Edema (With Agency Reports) Lagos

Super Eagles players have goalkeeper Carl Ikeme to thank as his superlative performance denied Taifa Stars of Tanzania victory in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Saturday in Dar es Salaam.

Carl Ikeme

Carl Ikeme

Ikeme, in his debut, denied the Tafia Stars victory, a team yet to record a victory over Nigeria in all previous attempts.

Saturday’s game, which officially was the first for Coach Sunday Oliseh and his Tanzanian counterpart, understandably started on a cautious note.

And Oliseh wasted no time in praising the goalkeeper, whom he said had a ‘fantastic’ game.

“It is unfair to say Ikeme had a decent game. He was actually fantastic.” Oliseh commended.

Oliseh said that he was happy with the outcome of the game on the premise that the players were yet to gel, despite that the team struggled to create and convert chances in the match.

“The first half was not good for us. The second half was a little better. I am happy with the one point,” Oliseh said.

“You can’t expect the boys to gel from the beginning that’s why am happy with the one point.”

Super Eagles captain on the day, Ahmed Musa, added, ”Football has changed, there are no small teams. Tanzania gave us a good game.”

Emenike connected to a free kick from the right flank in the 10th minute but his effort went over the bar.

Moments later Tafia Stars almost took the lead after some sweet combination between Farid Musa and Mbwana Samatta but they were denied, followiwng a fantastic save by debutante, Ikeme.

The continuous pressure saw the Stars handed a free kick few meters away from the Eagles box and Samatta did not disappoint with a thunderous strike which was tipped over by Ikeme.

Nigeria, not long after, was gifted a chance but the low drive from Moses Simon did not trouble Ally Mustafa in goal for Tanzania.

Coach Oliseh pulled off Haruna Lukman in 35th minute and Sylvester Igboun was brought in.

Nigeria almost benefitted from a mix up in the Tanzania defence but Moses Simon’s final touch could not get the ball in the net.

Just by the hour mark, Tanzania made its first change. Mudathir Yahya came out for Said Hamis Ndemla while Nigeria made its second change as Anthony Ujah came in for Emenike.

Mrisho Ngasa moments later lost a glorious chance for Tanzania; he was free on goal but headed over the bar.

Coach Oliseh introduced Emem Eduok for Moses Simon.

Eduok threw away a golden opportunity on 83rd minute when he failed to chip the ball over the onrushing Tanzania keeper.

With the one point from Saturday’s game, Nigeria tops Group G with four points. Nigeria will however wait to see if it will keep the spot when Egypt takes on Chad on Sunday.