Feb 1, 2014 at 3pm UK at ‚Äč Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Zimbabwe
0-1
Nigeria

Sithole (45')
Mambare (16')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Obiozor (85')
Ibrahim (7'), Obiozor (86')

Live Commentary: Zimbabwe 0-1 Nigeria - as it happened

Live Commentary: Zimbabwe 0-1 Nigeria - as it happened
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Relive with Sports Mole all the action from the African Nations Championship third-place playoff clash between Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

Zimbabwe and Nigeria met in their African Nations Championship third-place playoff clash on Saturday.

Both teams had failed to reach the final of the competition after both being knocked out on penalties in their semi-final games against Libya and Ghana respectively.

Nigeria earned third place as they took advantage of Masimba Mambare's early sending-off and they got their winner five minutes from time when Christian Obiozor headed home from close range.

Read how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.


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2.32pmGood afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of the African Nations Championship third-place playoff clash between Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

2.35pmZimbabwe and Nigeria will not be pleased to fighting it out for third place, they'd much rather be playing in the final later today. But there's still some chance at some minor glory this afternoon.

2.38pmBoth teams lost on penalties in the semi-finals, so they will hope they are better from the spot this afternoon should it come to that. Nigeria scored only once in their shootout against Ghana, while Zimbabwe were unlucky as they just missed the once in their clash with Libya, but that's all it takes.

2.40pmThe team news is out and we'll start with Zimbabwe.

2.44pmZIMBABWE STARTING XI: Chigova, Moyo, Ncube, Jaure, Zvirekwi, Phiri, Machapa, Mambare, Chipeta, Mahachi, Sithole

2.46pmZIMBABWE SUBS: Muparati, Mbara, Mazivisa, Sithole, Ngoma, Sadiki, Diya, Sibanda, Chindungwe, Manhanga, Ndlhovu, Dube

2.49pmNIGERIA STARTING XI: Agbim, Uzochukwu, Ibrahim, Egwuekwe, Kwambe, Benjamin, Kunle, Shehu, Pyagbara, Imenger, Obiozor

2.53pmNIGERIA SUBS: Hillary, Gabriel, Zango, Akpeyi, Ede, Alampasu, Obaje, Obanor

2.56pmThe players are out on the pitch and we should be underway shortly.

1 minWe're underway in this third-place playoff clash.

2 minSlow start to the game as Zimbabwe seem content to knock the ball forward from the back. A long ball forward ends their possession as Agbim gathers with ease as Sithole tried to latch on to the through ball.

3 minNice build-up from Nigeria down the right, they work several passes before the ball is crossed into the area. It lands at the feet of Pyagbara who can't get it under control, and it goes back to Kwambe who can only blast his effort over the bar.

5 minCHANCE! Nigeria raid down the right again and Ibrahim gets his cross into the box. Zimbabwe can't clear the loose ball and it falls to Pyagbara 10 yards from goal, but his effort goes just wide of the target.

7 minYELLOW CARD: Ibrahim shows quick feet to get into the area, he then tries to beat Ncube and Jaure and he falls to the ground looking for a penalty. The referee blows his whistle but shows the midfielder a yellow card for simulation and awards Zimbabwe the free kick.

9 minZimbabwe's turn to threaten the goal and Mahachi finds space down the flank to sprint into, he gets level with the box and fires a cross to the near post. There aren't many players in yellow in the box to take advantage as Nigeria panic for a second, but they manage to clear the danger on the third attempt.

11 minImpressive play again from Zimbabwe as they win possession down the right as Zvirekwi robs Imenger and he drives forward. He gets to the byeline and whips in a good cross but Agbim does well to read the danger and he comes off his line to gather the ball.

13 minThe game has calmed in the last few minutes, as both teams seem content just to keep moving the ball. Not much action in the final third of the pitch.

16 minRED CARD! Zimbabwe are down to 10 men as Mambare is sent off for a terrible challenge on Agbim. He tried to latch onto a ball over the top and the keeper beat him to it, but his momentum carried him into the keeper with his foot raised and he caused some damage to Agbim. Mambare is rightly given his marching orders as that was very dangerous play.

17 minMambare goes off on a stretcher after appearing to hurt himself in the collision but that doesn't matter anyway. Agbim appears to be ok to continue though, after taking that brutal blow.

19 minThe pace of the game is yet to return to what it was before the red card. Nigeria seem quite happy to knock the ball around between their defence and midfield, there's not much penetration in the final third as defence appears to be on top for the moment. Zimbabwe have gone back in their lines and are just waiting for the Nigeria attack.

22 minNigeria played against 10 men in the semi-finals against Ghana and couldn't find a breakthrough and they are struggling here. They've offered nothing since the departure of Mambare and you would think they would try and show some urgency to to make their one-man advantage count.

25 minMahachi gets in behind the Nigerian defence again and he raids right to the byeline before whipping a cross into the penalty area. Sithole is in the area but he can't react to the delivery and Uzochukwu gets back to clear the ball away.

28 minNigeria win a free kick around 35 yards from goal and a chance to put a threatening delivery into the Zimbabwe area.

29 minShehu knocks the ball into the area and the ball is cleared by Zimbabwe but only as far as Imenger down the left. He tries to win a corner as the ball loops up but Zvirekwi gets the better of him and clears.

31 minAnother raid down the flank from Zimbabwe as they find space and this time it's down the right. Sithole gets into the penalty area but he can't find Mahachi in the middle and Kunle does enough to force the ball away from him and clear.

33 minA lot of play is run down the flanks and this time it's Nigeria who get in behind and Obiozor beats his man and makes his way to the byeline inside the box. Chigova goes across to narrow the angle and he does enough to put the striker off his stride and the ball goes for a goal kick. Unfortunately for the keeper Obiozor collides with him and he goes down with an apparent injury.

35 minChigova appears to be ok to continue after receiving treatment for the blow to the hip.

37 minCHANCE! Nice interplay between Obizor and Ibrahim sets the winger free down the middle, he decides to strike the ball from 25 yards but his effort is well saved by Chigova who turns the ball away.

39 minSHOT! Nigeria are coming into the game more and more in the final third of the pitch, as Zimbabwe knocked the ball long but Kunle showed great recovery skills to take the ball and drive it forward. He found Obiozor and the striker let fly with an ambitious effort that went just over the bar.

41 minCHANCE! Nigeria work the ball down the right as Kwambe raids forward. He lifts a cross into the area, which evades everyone until it falls to Ibrahim at the back post who tries a first-time shot, but his effort sails harmlessly over the bar.

45 minThere will be five minutes of added time.

45+2 minCHANCE! Ibrahim comes so close to giving his side the lead as he raids forward and cuts inside from the left wing. From 20 yards out he lets fly with a powerful effort which goes inches wide of the post with Chigova beaten.

45+5 minHALF TIME: Zimbabwe 0-0 Nigeria

3.57pmIt's goalless at the break in this third-place playoff clash despite Zimbabwe being reduced to 10 men after Mambare was sent off for a violent collision with Agbim. Nigeria have had their moments as they looked to take advantage of the situation and came close through Ibrahim, but they have tested Chigova only twice as they tried to bread the deadlock.

4pmZimbabwe will look to defend deep and try to hit Nigeria on the counter attack in the second half, while Stephen Keshi's side will want to repeat their performance of the last 10 minutes or so as they put pressure on the Zimbabwe goal.

4.04pmThe players are back out for the second half and we should be underway shortly.

46 minWe're back underway in this third-place playoff clash.

49 minSlow start to the half as Nigeria seem content to win possession and keep the ball at the back for now.

52 minA real lack or urgency from Nigeria so far, you would expect them to come out after half time keen to make their one-man advantage count and press Zimbabwe, but they are yet to up the ante.

54 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Uzoenyi and Zango come on for Nigeria to replace Benjamin and Uzochukwu maybe that will provide some much-needed impetus.

58 minThere's been no rhythm no Nigeria's attacking play whatsoever in this second half, but they do get a chance to threaten with a free kick 40 yards from goal as Pyagbara is brought down by Phiri.

59 minA poor free kick from Shehu as he tries to whip the ball to the back post and Zimbabwe win the initial header and manage to clear the danger with a big hoof upfield.

61 minZimbabwe come close to getting a great opportunity as they break with Mahachi and Sithole. The winger plays the ball short to Sithole, who tries to press into the area but a great challenge by Egwuekwe stops him in his tracks as he knocks the ball away at the last second.

63 minEnd to end stuff now, as Nigeria win a free kick around 25 yards from goal as Obiozor is brought down as he tried to press forward.

64 minCHANCE! Kwambe lines up the free kick and gets a good strike away, but his effort goes just past the post with Chigova scrambling across his net. That was pretty close.

66 minCHANCE! Kwambe is involved in the action again down the right as he slides a through ball for Pyagbara and he tried to thread the ball across to Obiozor as Chigova races out. The ball beats the keeper but not Chipeta who gets in the perfect position to clear the ball away.

68 minZimbabwe come again on the counter attack, this is much better football, as Sithole speeds away down the right. He doesn't have many options to he cuts back onto his left foot and then decides to shoot at goal, but his effort is poor and goes wide of the target.

71 minObiozor is presented with an excellent chance at the back post as Pyagbara's header falls to him at the back post but he can't find the target as his effort clips the post and goes wide. Fortunately for the striker the offside flag is up anyway, so his effort wouldn't have counted.

74 minA lot more urgency is required from Nigeria as they are not pressing the Zimbabwe defence as much as they should be. They need to raise the tempo and spread play out to find the gaps.

78 minCHANCE! Uzoenyi finds space down the right and he beats Ncube in a one-on-one battle and then shoots at the near post on his right-foot, but his effort is tame and saved by Chigova with relative ease.

81 minAnother effort from Uzoenyi as he finds space down the middle but his time he blazes his effort over the bar. He has made an impact since arriving from the bench.

83 minCHANCE! Sithole gets in behind the Nigerian defence and he gets to the byeline. He decides to shoot from a narrow angle but Kunle and Agbim manage to make the stop together and the keeper gathers the loose ball.

85 minGOAL! Zimbabwe 0-1 Nigeria (Obiozor)

85 minNigeria finally get their breakthrough as the ball is crossed in from the right by Uzoenyi and his pinpoint ball into the area finds Obiozor six yards from goal and he makes no mistake powering his header into the net. A cruel blow for Zimbabwe but the numbers finally told for Nigeria.

89 minZimbabwe are throwing numbers forward now but it looks too late for them to grab an equaliser as Nigeria look resolute at the back.

90 minThere will be four minutes of added time.

90+2 minZimbabwe win a corner down the left and they have a chance to put Nigeria under pressure. The ball is delivered into the box and Agbim comes for and misses the ball, and it pinballs around before it's cleared. However, the referee blew for a free kick anyway for a foul on the keeper.

90+4 minAnother chance for Zimbabwe and Chigova comes up from the back as they win a free kick. The ball is pumped into the area, but the referee blows for another foul and that should be that.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Zimbabwe 0-1 Nigeria

5pmNigeria take third place in the African Nations Championship. It's a small consolation prize after their defeat in the semi-finals but Stephen Keshi will be please nonetheless. They created the one bit of quality needed after struggling for the majority of the game to break down the 10 men of Zimbabwe. However, the introduction of Ejike Uzoenyi brought them to life and it was his cross that found Christian Obiozor for the deciding goal.

5.03pmThanks for joining our commentary this afternoon. We'll have all the coverage of the African Nations Championship final coming your way shortly, so stick around for that. But from me, it's goodbye.

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