by George Akpayen
Syli Stars of Guinea inflicted on Nigeria’s Super Eagles their first loss in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations for the 2012 edition in Conakry on Sunday.
It was Kevin Konstan lone strike inside the opening 10 minutes that sealed all three points for the Guineans in game that produced little fireworks.
The winning goal came after a great interchange among four Guinean players just in the middle of the pack before Konstan slotted past a hapless Nigerian goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama.
The game though was evenly balanced throughout the first half, Esperance of Tunisia big man, Michael Eneramo, missed from close range just mid-way in the first half after Obafemi Martins’ knock-down inside the Guinean area. Eneramo like in the first game against Madagascar could only poke the ball wide as he was left in the clear with just the Guinean goalkeeper to beat.
The Nigerian side looked jaded in the absence of the duo of Osaze Peter Odemwingie and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel.
But the late introduction of former Kano Pillars’ man, Ahmed Musa and Ismaily-bound attacking winger, John Owoeri, added some spark to Nigeria’s late surge for a point.
Musa and Owoeri brought width to the Nigerian attack in a game in which on-loan West Ham striker, Obinna Nsofor, was largely anonymous.
However, Guinea held on for three points leaving Nigeria and Ethiopia in second and third with three points apiece. Ethiopia defeated Madagascar by a lone goal away.
Nigeria’s next game will come up in March 2011 when they play host to Ethiopia in the 2012 Nations Cup qualifier.