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  Sunday, 8 September, 2002, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Nigeria held in Angola
Isaac Okoronkwo
Okoronkwo was outstanding in the Nigeria defence
Angola 0-0 Nigeria
Luanda, Sunday

Frittered goalscoring chances led to the drab stalemate in Luanda in the opening game in Group 1.

Both sides could have won the game, with Angola having the better opportunities, but neither had the killer instinct to actually make it count.

Julius Aghahowa, captain for the day, did have the ball in the net in the second half, but the effort was ruled offside.

Flavio came closest to scoring for Angola when his powerful close-range header struck the Nigerian bar.

The Super Eagles had the better of the first half, with John Utaka having one great effort when he outwitted his marker with a lovely flick before firing his volley just past the Angolan upright.

But Angola had their chances too, with Bodunha's overlapping runs causing the Nigerian defence a few anxious moments. But Isaac Okoronkwo showed his class by marshalling his defence superbly.

Nigerian coach Christian Chukwu expressed satisfaction with his team's goalless draw.

"My young team did well to get the draw against a very tough side," said Chukwu.

But the Super Eagles coach admitted that he was disappointed with the performance of his young midfield.

"We missed the experience of players like Okocha and Kanu who could have helped the youngsters a great deal."

The Angolans were hit by the withdrawal of star strikers Mantorras and Fabrice Akwa, who were injured.


Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 7

Group 8

Group 9

Group 10

Group 11

Group 12

Group 13
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