Both sides had drawn their respective opening games of the competition and their match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit also ended in a 1-1 draw.
2.32pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole’s live coverage of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash between Zambia and Nigeria. This is a Group C game and you can follow all the action live as it happens here on this page.
2.34pmHeading into the match, Zambia and Nigeria both find themselves on one point from one match. While the former drew 1-1 with Ethiopia, the latter were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso.
2.36pmTeam news coming up now...
2.38pmZAMBIA STARTING XI: Mweene; Musonda, Sunzu, Mbola, Nkausu; Kalaba, Lungu, Sinkala; Chansa; Katongo, Mayuka
2.40pmNIGERIA STARTING XI: Enyeama; Oboabona, Echiejile, Omeruo, Onazi; Mikel, Ogude; Igiebor, Musa; Moses, Emenike
2.44pmSo the big team news this afternoon is that Victor Moses has recovered from his hamstring injury that forced him to miss out Nigeria’s clash against Burkina Faso on Monday. Zambia midfielder Chisamba Lungu too has passed a late fitness test and has recovered from his ankle injury.
2.45pmWe are just around 15 minutes away from kickoff at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. You would have normally thought that Nigeria would be overwhelming favourites today, but the FIFA rankings would suggest otherwise. Zambia are currently ranked 34th in the world, while Nigeria are in 57th place. Surprised?
2.48pmSome interesting stats for you now. Nigeria was the last team to beat Zambia in the Nations Cup - that was in 2010. In Afcon tournaments, Nigeria and Zambia have scored four goals against each other. So I would expect goals today.
2.51pmAs we await for kickoff, let’s hear from the two captains. First up is Zambia’s Christopher Katongo: "We are not under any pressure, but we acknowledge that after this game [against Ethiopia] we need to improve and work harder and that, for sure, we will do. As defending champions, it was not a fair result to get."
2.53pmNigeria captain Joseph Yobo: "We were disappointed after the first game, it wasn't easy to accept that setback, but that's behind us now. Now we have the defending champions in front of us, it's going to be very tough. We've got to concentrate right till the end, and we've got to learn from our mistakes. We believe we can beat Zambia, it's all about getting points now, we can't afford to lose."
2.55pmTickets for this match have sold out, so I would expect to find a packed stadium. The atmosphere should be electric for this!
2.57pmKickoff is just minutes away as the two sets of players are ready to begin proceedings...
0 minAnd the match gets underway...
1 minThe pitch seems to be a in a bad condition really and the conditions could make it difficult for the teams to play a passing game.
2 minNigeria hogging the possession at the moment, as Musa whips in a cross from the left flank but does not find any teammate inside the Zambia penalty area to take advantage of it.
4 minZambia have got themselves into the match now and are passing the ball around decently.
6 minZambia try to craft a chance again, as Joseph Musonda plays in a cross that Emmanuel Mayuka heads towards goal but fails to make the most of it.
8 minIt has been a bright side to the match - a lively opening minutes that have seen both teams look to play the ball forward and make an early breakthrough. It has been a competitive affair as well thus far.
10 minTen minutes gone in the first half and it is still goalless between Zambia and Nigeria. The two teams are cancelling out each other at the moment. I can see a number of empty seats inside the stadium - this match was supposed to be a sell-out!
11 minMISS! Musa is released down the right from a long ball from the midfield, gallops with it and then whips in a cross-cum-shot that goes just over the Zambia crossbar.
13 minMikel does well to clear the ball from inside the Nigeria penalty area just in time! There was a Zambia player lurking around and that could have caused problems had Mikel not been alert.
15 minAccording to the current stats, Nigeria have 54% of the ball while Zambia have been on the ball 46% of the time.
16 minMISS! Zambia's Rainford Kalaba smashes his shot wide of the post from an acute angle on the left after being released with a wonderful ball. It was a brilliant piece of play from Zambia, but Kalaba should have hit the target at least from that position.
18 minGood piece of skill from Nigeria’s Victor Moses, who gets past two Zambia defenders on his way to the byline, but is eventually dispossessed. Zambia need to be careful of allowing him to run at them again.
21 minZambia are giving Nigeria a stiff test in this contest and are not looking intimidated at all. However, it is the Nigerians who have settled down and are looking more composed at the moment.
23 minNigeria go on the attack now as a cross is drilled in from the right, but Mweene collects with it with ease.
24 minPENALTY! Nigeria is awarded a penalty as Zambia defender Davies Nkausu dives in on Ahmed Musa. Had to be given
26 minPENALTY MISS! John Obi Mikel misses his spot kick! He drags his effort on to the post and wide. Oh, what a golden opportunity missed by Nigeria to go ahead.
29 minZambia almost make Nigeria pay for that penalty miss with a free kick just outside the area. Chisamba Lungu curls in a free kick towards the bottom corner that draws out a great save from Vincent Enyeama.
32 minOh, Katongo is sent through on goal with a lovely ball but the linesman adjudges that he was in an offside position. Zambia are controlling proceedings at the moment.
35 minYELLOW CARD Godfrey Oboabona becomes the first player in this match to be booked.
36 minCHANCE! Nigeria survive another scare as Sunzu’s header from Kalaba’s free kick from close range at the far post goes just wide. Nigeria are on the back foot at the moment.
38 minCHANCE! Now Katongo unleashes a speculative effort after getting round his marker, but it goes wide of the mark.
40 minFive minutes of first-half action. Zambia are clearly dominating proceedings at the moment and have forced Nigeria on the back foot. If only Mikel had been able to convert his penalty...
42 minNigeria are struggling to find creativity or imagination to take the game to Zambia really. With the firepower they have, you would expect them to do better.
45 minJust one minutes of injury time has been added at the end of the first half.
45+1 minCHANCE! Zambia end the first half on a stronger note, as they force Enyeama into making a last-ditch save. A diagonal ball is played from the left by Kalaba to the right side of the penalty area from where a cross is drilled in by Chansa. Enyeama dives in to collect the cross across the face of the goal!
45+2 minHALF-TIME: Zambia 0-0 Nigeria
3.50pmIt’s half time at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, and it’s goalless between Zambia and Nigeria. It was an evenly contested first half that saw Zambia put the Nigerians on the back foot for much of the game.
3.55pmHowever, it was the Nigerians who had the best chance of the match and that came on 26 minutes when they were awarded a penalty. John Obi Mikel, though, failed to hit the target from 12 yards. That saw Zambia wrestle the initiative and control proceedings for the remainder of the first half, forcing Enyeama into making saves on a number of occasions.
3.58pmThe second half will begin in a matter of minutes. Both sides will know that a draw will not be good enough for their ambitions to progress into the quarter-finals, so perhaps they would show more attacking propensity in the second period.
45 minAnd now the second half gets underway, with Nigeria kicking off proceedings at th Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit...
47 minIt has been a slow start to the second half as both sides are still cancelling out each other...
49 minCHANCE! Ahmed Musa goes close again for Nigeria! He is released down the right and shoots on goal from a tight angle that is also partly a cross, but his effort is just shy of Emmanuel Emenike, who was rushing on towards goal to poke it home.
52 minWas that a penalty!? Sunzu and Emenike clash with each other inside the Zambia penalty area, but the referee award a free kick to the Zambians.
55 minMISS! What a howler from Mweene! Emenike gets in between two defenders and somehow manages to get a shot in that goes just wide of an empty goal as Mweene had rushed out of his line.
57 minGOAL! Zambia 0-1 Nigeria (Emenike)
57 minNigeria take the lead and it is the man who has looked the most dangerous in the second half who has scored the opening goal of the afternoon. Emmanuel Emenike is played through by John Obi Mikel and he fired home from inside the area into the left-hand corner, as the Zambian defence collapse around him.
58 minEmenike has been on fire in the opening minutes of the second half and deservedly scores his goal today. Zambia are looking flattened at the moment, as the Nigerians have started to take control of proceedings.
60 minHalf an hour left in this match, half an hour for Zambia to score the equaliser. They look disheartened since conceding the goal, to be honest, and I am not sure if they can stage a comeback.
61 minCHANCE! Emenike almost scores his second goal of the afternoon, as he is prevented from taking his shot on goal by a diving Sunzu.
64 minYELLOW CARD Nathan Sinkala is shown the yellow card for his rather rash challenge on Emmanuel Emenike.
66 minSUBSTITUTION Double change for Zambia. Mukuka Mulenga comes on for Chisamba Lungu and Collins Mbesuma replaces Christopher Katongo.
68 minCurrent stats show that Nigeria have 56% of the ball. The Nigerians are actually showing more creativity and invention n the second half than they did in the first.
69 minYELLOW CARD Ahmed Musa goes into the referee’s books for his aerial challenge on Stopilla Sunzu. It was not a yellow card offence, though - well, at least I don’t think it was!
70 minTwenty minutes of normal time remain in this game. It is still Zambia 0-1 Nigeria.
71 minOh, a half-chance for Zambia out of nothing as Chansa goes for goal but it is a speculative effort and does not trouble Enyeama at all.
72 minCHANCE! Rainford Kalaba is set through on goal but his attempt from inside the area is hit straight at Vincent Enyeama. That was a glorious chance for Zambia to restore parity.
72 minSUBSTITUTION Zambia make their third and final substitution of the afternoon, as Jonas Sakuwaha replaces Isaac Chansa.
73 minYELLOW CARD Emmanuel Mbola is shown the yellow card by the referee.
76 minAnother half-chance for Zambia, as Elderson Echiejile clears away a deep free kick that was headed across the Nigeria goal at the back post.
76 minSUBSTITUTION Now Nigeria make a change. Nwankwo Obiorah replaces Igiebor
78 minNow Malenga tries to get his shot past Enyeama from distance, but the Nigerian goalkeeper saves his effort with ease.
79 minSUBSTITUTION Another change for Nigeria, who have Victor Moses replaced by Ideye.
80 minTen minutes of normal time remain for Zambia to collect something this game. Will they be able to carve out something?
82 minCHANCE! What a miss from Collins Mbesuma! Rainford Kalaba gallops down the left flank to collect a long ball from defence and sets up Collins Mbesuma, only for him to set straight at the Nigerian goalkeeper! Awful, awful miss!
84 minPENALTY! Zambia are given a penalty! Onazi makes contact with Mayuka on the edge of the box and the referee deems it a foul! Controversial decision, I should say. A great chance for the Zambians to make it 1-1.
85 minGOAL! Zambia 1-1 Nigeria (Mweene)
85 minWhat a penalty from the Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene! He cooly hits his spot kick into the top right-hand corner of the Nigerian net. All square now!
86 minIt is 1-1 now between Zambia and Nigeria at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. What a comeback by the Zambians and what a great penalty from Kennedy Mweene.
89 minSUBSTITUTION Uche comes on for Ahmed Musa now.
90 minFour minutes of injury time have been awarded now. Will Nigeria be able to surge ahead and score what should prove to be the winner?
90+2 minThe pace of the game has dropped now. We have just two minutes left and the contest is heading towards a draw.
90+3 minYELLOW CARD Uwa Elderson Echiejile goes into the referee’s books now in the third minute of injury time.
90+4 minFULL TIME:Zambia 1-1 Nigeria
4.53pmIt’s all over at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit where Zambia and Nigeria have played out a 1-1 draw with each other in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Group C. John Obi Mikel failed to dispatch a penalty in the first half, but Nigeria still went ahead through Emenike on 57 minutes. However, Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene found the target with five minutes of normal time remaining when he scored a controversial spot kick.
4.55pmI hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of the the match here on Sports Mole. Have a good evening. It’s goodbye from me for now.