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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 February 2006, 16:03 GMT
Nigeria 1-1 Tunisia
(Nigeria win 6-5 on penalties)

By Vera Kwakofi
BBC Sport, Port Said

Vincent Enyeama celebrates his team's victory on penalties
Enyeama saved three penalties in the shoot-out
Vincent Enyeama saved from Riadh Bouazizi as Nigeria won a penalty shoot-out 6-5 after a dramatic African Cup of Nations quarter-final tie with Tunisia.

Enyeama had already scored a penalty himself before diving low to his left to save from Bouazizi and win the first sudden death shoot-out of the competition.

The match had finished 1-1, with Nigeria taking the lead early on when Obinna Nsofor scored after Ali Boumnijel palmed a cross into his path.

Jose Clayton failed to equalise from the penalty spot when Enyeama made an athletic save after Joseph Enakarhire had fouled Zied Jaziri.

Karim Hagui did restore parity with a far-post header after the break, though Nigeria held their nerve at the end to avenge their defeat to Tunisia on penalties in their 2004 Nations Cup semi-final.

Nigeria created the better chances in the first 45 minutes and could well have led at the break.

Boumnijel saved John Utaka's header after a cross from John Mikel Obi and Nsofor went close from the edge of the area.

Tunisia had their openings - Hamed Namouchi going close after connecting a with a floated free-kick and Francileudo dos Santos heading wide at the far post.

After Hagui did draw Tunisia level, it was Nigeria who looked the most likely to score a decisive goal.

Obafemi Martins could not quite control the ball under pressure from a Tunisia defender, while Nsofor shot wide from a tight angle.

Nwankwo Kanu and Obi were both thwarted by Boumnijel, who had an outstanding game, during extra-time.

And Tunisia seemed to be building a match-winning lead in the penalty shoot-out but Enyeama saved as Adel Chedli tried to give the Carthage Eagles a 3-1 lead.

After Nsofor struck to level at 2-2, Enyeama then saved from Slim Benachour and, later, Bouazizi to win the tie.

  • Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen:
    "The game could have gone either way, as it did in Tunisia two years ago.

    "In football, just as in anything in life you need a bit of luck and were got it.

    "Vincent Enyeama was brilliant to get us back into the game after we lost two kicks and has now proved critics wrong who say he is not good at stopping penalties."

  • Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre:
    "We beat them in 2004, they beat us today. It's disappointing, but we have to accept it.

    "African football is improving and Europe should pay attention.

    "We lost against a team that sets a high standard for African football.

    "However, we have gained a lot from this tournament and hope to put some of these lessons to good use at the World Cup in Germany."

    Clockwatch: Nigeria 1-1 Tunisia
    04 Feb 06 |  African


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