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NIGERIA overcame a brave challenge from Zambia to win the African Nations' Cup final in Tunis yesterday. Emmanuel Amunike, who had been left out of his team's four previous matches in the tournament, scored both goals as Nigeria came back from a goal down.
Zambia did magnificently to reach the final, having rebuilt their team after 18 members of the squad were killed in a plane crash in April last year. They started the two-week tournament as outsiders, but took a shock lead after two minutes of the final when the defender, Elijah Litana, headed home from a corner.
Amunike headed his team level within two minutes with a close- range strike, also from a corner. The ball was won in the air by Uche Okechukwu and Amunike was first to pounce on the loose ball.
The World Cup finalists went ahead two minutes after the interval when Amunike turned inside his marker and found the net with a fierce shot. Zambia were within inches of an equaliser when Kalusha Bwalya's long-range shot bounced back off the bar midway through the second half.
Nigeria: Rufai; Eguavoen, Iroha, Okechukwu, Okafor, Oliseh, Finidi (Siasia, 41), Okocha (Ugbade, 73), Amokachi, Amunike, Yekini.
Zambia: Phiri; Chongo, Litana, M Malitoli, Chiyangi, Mulenga (Makwaza, 60), Sakala, Joel Bwalya (Johnson Bwalya, 70), K Bwalya, K Malitoli, Saileti.
Referee: Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius).Reuse content