Goalkeepers make their mark at Nations Cup

Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa (L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group C soccer match against Ethiopia in Nelspruit, yesterday. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

NELSPRUIT, South Africa,  (Reuters) – Burkina Faso scored the biggest win of the competition to date but it was three goalkeepers who took centre stage on a night of high drama in the African Nations Cup yesterday.

One scored a penalty, one was sent off and one accused a referee of making “one of the worst decisions in the history of football” after Burkina Faso beat Ethiopia 4-0 and champions Zambia needed a late controversial penalty to draw 1-1 with Nigeria in Group C.

The penalty scorer was Zambia’s keeper Kennedy Mweene, the keeper sent off was Burkina Faso’s Abdoulaye Soulama and the goalie whose remarks could land him in trouble with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was Nigerian Vincent Enyeama.

The 30-year-old, who has plenty of experience from a long career in club and international football and is now plying his trade in Israel, pulled no punches when he was asked what he thought about the decision by Egyptian referee Grisha Ghead to award Zambia a penalty in the 85th minute.

It had looked a soft challenge by defender Ogenyi Onanzi on striker Emmanuel Mayuka.
“It was one of the worst decisions in the history of football,” Enyeama told reporters.

“It was the worst call I have seen live. It does not belong in football in my opinion. There is no place for a call like that in a match of this magnitude between the champions and Nigeria.

“What is happening to officiating in Africa if we have calls like that?”
Enyeama’s miserable night was completed when Mweene, his opposite number, strolled up from the other end of the field to beat him from the penalty spot and give Zambia a 1-1 draw which keeps them very much involved in the fight for a last eight place.
Mweene himself had faced a penalty earlier in the match, but managed to keep his goal intact without needing to make a save of his own after Nigerian playmaker John Obi Mikel fired his poorly struck penalty against the right hand post.

CARELESS HANDBALL

Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa (L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group C soccer match against Ethiopia in Nelspruit, yesterday. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa (L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group C soccer match against Ethiopia in Nelspruit, yesterday. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The keeper was beaten by a good strike from Emmanuel Emenike which gave Nigeria the lead, but otherwise had a good game.

Mweene said: “It is hard enough for a goalkeeper to save a penalty, never mind score one, but I do practice them in training.
“It was a long walk from one end of the pitch to the other, but I just concentrated on scoring and that’s what I did.”

Mweene has now faced four penalties in the last four matches Zambia have played in the finals – the semi-final and final last year and the opening two games here, and none have been converted.

No goals were scored against Burkina Faso yesterday either as the west African outsiders took advantage of first-half injuries to Ethiopia’s Adane Girma and Asrat Megersa which fatally disrupted their rhythm after a bright start.

Two goalkeepers helped the Burkinabe keep a clean sheet – Soulama, who was sent off for a careless handball just outside his penalty area after 60 minutes, and substitute Daouda Diakite, who is likely to keep his place for the decider against Zambia as Soulama is suspended.

Burkina Faso, who had not won in the finals for 17 successive matches dating back to 1998 when they hosted the event, were lucky early on when Ethiopia’s Shimelese Bekele hit the post with Soulama stranded after just four minutes.

Comments  

Warriors fold to Tallawahs in last over thriller

Guyana Amazon Warriors left a packed house heartbroken after folding to the Jamaican Tallawahs by two runs in a thrilling final over, as they began their home leg of this year’s Caribbean Premier league (CPL) with a school boyish display, last evening at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

By ,

Historic opening match for WI U19s

DUBAI, England, CMC – Reigning champions West Indies Under-19s will be part of history, when they kick off their title defence of the ICC Youth World Cup (YWC) against hosts New Zealand Under-19s.

Guyana edge St. Lucia 1-0

Guyana ended their Group-F campaign in the CONCACAF Boys U15 Championship on a winning note, edging St.

Windies toil, Cook, Root share the spoils

BIRMINGHAM, England, CMC – A day that started brightly ended in typical uncertainty for West Indies, after Alastair Cook and Joe Root plundered hundreds to give England an early hold on the historic first Test on Thursday.

Royal stars for Jamaica

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, CMC – A strong all-round performance from Javeor Royal propelled Jamaica Under-19s to a four-wicket victory over ICC Americas Under-19s in the Regional One-day youth tournament on Thursday.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×