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THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET    African Cup Of Nations 2000  JAN 22 - FEB 13  Nigeria/Ghana 
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Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
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Nigeria - Congo  0 : 0 

Before the match 
Nigeria started their first match against Tunisia nervously, like their Captain Sunday Oliseh confessed. But thanks to the scoring ability of their impact players they found their form in the second half. Okocha and Ikpeba scored twice and Kanu was brilliant in how he set up those scoring. 
But again reports of unpaid hotel bills and rows about unpaid bonusses came up in the news yesterday - will the same problems spoil their campaign again  
> see the Nigeria preview, an attempt to evaluate their chances from distance 
On paper the match should be no problem for Nigeria: players from Milan, Arsenal, Juventus, PSG etc against an opponent with some players from lower division teams at Europe. But Congo has put up a brave performance against Morocco and Rolf-Christel Guie-Mien could thrill his fans again. 
Nigeria should win the match but do not expect a high margin. 
> Nigeria - Tunisia match report
> Morocco - Congo match report
Nigeria  1 4-2 3
Morocco  1 1-0 3
Congo  1 0-1 0
Tunisia  1 2-4 0
With a Nigerian victory, Nigeria could already be formally qualified for the quarterfinals and/or Congo eliminated, but this will depend on the outcome of the Morocco-Tunisia clash.

Nigeria: 1-Ike Shoronmu; 2-Gbenga Okunowo, 3-Celestine Babayaro, 4-Nwankwo Kanu, 5-Furo Iyenemi, 6-Taribo West, 7- Finidi George, 10-Austin Okocha, 11-Garba Lawal, 15-Sunday Oliseh, 20-Victor Ikpeba  
Congo: 1-Brice Samba; 3-Luc-Arsene Diamesso, 4-Jean-Sylvestre, 5-Camille Oponga, 6-Bedel Moyimbouabeka, 7-Richard Bokatola-Lossombo, 11-Oscar Ewolo, 12-Macchambes Younga Mounhani, 14-Rolf-Christel Guie Mien, 15-Toussaint Service, 21-Jules Tchimbakala  
Referee: Felix Tangawarima (ZIM) 
Ass. Referees: Endeng Zogo (CMR) & Salie Achmat (RSA) 
Reserve referee: Alex Quartey (GHA) 

1st half 
-('7) Kanu and Okocha display their class 
-('12) Nigeria a class ahead, but Congo closer to the lead: Nigerian keeper Shoronmu misses a corner and a Congolese attacker heads the ball a bit too soft so that a defender can stop it on the line 
-('13) Congo: Shoronmu saves a close range shot - with a striker like Ikpeba or Kanu, Congo would lead this 
flamboyant Nigerian game when in ball possession 
-('17) Nigeria: Kanu is blocked in the last moment 
-('18) Congo: A Guie-Mien shot is a problem for Shorunmu beacuse of the ground 
-('18) Nigeria: Okocha answers wide 
-('20) Congo: Guie-Mien sets up a wing attack that leads to a dangerrous shot saved 
-('21) Nigeria: Finidi George answers with causing some scare along the right wing 
Nigeria dominates but they allow Congo too many scoring opportunities 
-('28) Congo: This could have been a goal- a flying header from a bit difficult angle flies wide after a counter attack along the right wing 
-('33) Nigeria: Congolese keeper misses ball and Ikpeba almost can profit 
-('37) Congo: The up-to-here brilliant Guie-Mien is substituted - probably injury 
Congo is not a team that can easily replace a key player 
-('39) Nigeria: Lawal and Kanu on the left wing create a dangerous situation, but Ikpeba is denied a shot 

Halftime - 0:0 
It looked like the Nigerians reassured themselves during the first 10 Minutes they are one class ahead and then started to let the Congolese play. And Congo had the bigger opportunities, but lacked of the lethal strikers of their opponents. They wasted their set piece situations like in the first match and since their most conspicious player Guie-Mien was substituted they have not had a single opportunity. 

2nd half: 
-('47) Kanu goes down in the penalty area - but referees says no penalty 
-('54) Nigeria: Congo had managed to run a pair of attacks but now Nigeria is more dangerous 
-('60) Congo: Younga Mouhani who has just being booked commits a sillyy holding but gets away without a second yellow card, he is in danger now 
It looks more and more that the match might end with a narrow Nigerian victory: Congo looks to lack scoring impact (something Nigeria has) and starts to lose some concentration. Nigeria defends more concentrated than in first half. 
-('67) Congo: Younga-Mouhani is substituted 
-('73) Nigeria: 25 meter rocket by Oliseh misses goal close 
-('74) Congo: Huge scene after a deflected centered ball from the left side, Furo Iyenemi blocks a shot that otherwise might have gone into goal 
Congo has had off two days less, will it affect the final 15 minutes? 
-(82) Congo: #11 Ewolo gets a free kick 25 meters distance - wil they make something out of it this time?  
-('83) no- it's into the wall 
-('88) still good defending by Congo, and they are still tring to attack and not to play time 
-('90) Nigeria: dangerous moment as Babangida ´breaks through on the right side but the keeper can intercept the ball into the center 
('injury time) Nigeria creates a lot of pressure and a dangerous moment when Akwuegbu almost scores but a defender sitting on the line heads it to a corner 
('injury time) A Nigerian player is in danger of getting hit as he wants to shoot a corner kick and bottles come flying on the pitch 

Final result - 0:0 
The heat may have helped Congo. They play a neat style. All they lack is some scoring impact - they have yet to score a goal in this competition. Nigeria did not look like using all energy reserves.  
With only one point the Congolese chances are slim but there can be said more after the Morocco-Tunisia match (if Morocco wins, Morocco and Nigeria will be in the quarterfinals - if not, everything will still be possible for everybody). 

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