By El-Amisty Nobo| Follow Amisty on twitter @ElAmistyNobo
Profligacy in front of goal caused the Super Eagles and the Eagles of Mali yesterday as the two sides drew goalless in the opening Group A game of the ongoing WAFU tournament at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
The marauding runs of Okoro from the right wing was putting a lot of pressure on the Malian midfield and by extension their left side of defence in the first half, but Nigeria’s first attempt at goal came in the 17th minute as Akas’ free kick went straight into the waiting arms of goalkeeper Diarra.
Nigeria did not give up despite having a legitimate goal ruled for offside and came close to scoring again in the 33rd minute but Stephen Eze’s header was saved by Diarra in post for Mali.
The Eagles on the other hand were not that bad in the first half except that their communication in the third half of the pitch was quite lackluster as the Nigerian defensive trio of Eze, Akas, and Ariwachukwu kept their attackers in check.
Mali returned from the break looking more dangerous as Boubacar Samassekou, Moussa Kone, Akida and the skillful Mandala Kone started running riot at the Nigerian defence.
In the 69th minute, goalkeeper Diarra gave a great pass from 70-yards to Moussa Kone, but the Mali attacker failed to hit the back of the net as Ikechukwu Ezenwa came off his line to save the situation for Nigeria.
Nigeria was saved in the 70th minute by Aniyikaye Olamileka’s goal line clearance to deny Mandala Konte’s effort.
Coach Salisu Yusuf [Nigeria] threw more attackers forward in the last ten minutes of the game, but the Malian defence did not give them space to operate as the match ended 0-0.