Nigeria vs. Ethiopia: Final score 2-0, Super Eagles leave it late but advance to quarters

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Nigeria advanced to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a very odd 2-0 win against Ethiopia. Nigeria needed victory to be sure of advancing no matter what happened between Zambia and Burkina Faso in the other game, and for 79 minutes it looked as though the Wayla Antelopes would hold out for a draw.

Nothing of particular note happened for most of the match. Nigeria looked relatively toothless, while Ethiopia were happy to soak up pressure and make vague gestures towards hitting the Super Eagles on the counterattack. At 0-0, Zambia and Burkina Faso were going to advance on the fair play rule.

Then, suddenly, it wasn't 0-0 anymore. Victor Moses burst into the penalty area and was scythed down with a two-footed challenge from Alula Girma, and the Chelsea man brushed himself off and sent Sisay Bancha the wrong way to score the goal that looked like it would lead Nigeria to the quarterfinals.

The Super Eagles' celebration was very nearly cut short just seconds later as Ethiopia fashioned their first real chance of the match, Saladine Said thumping a powerful effort goalwards only to be denied by a magnificent stop from Vincent Enyeama.

And then, suddenly, the points were wrapped up. Moses took advantage of a slip in the back to dash forwards, starting a three-on-one counterattack that was ended only by Sisay bringing the winger down in the box with another brutal tackle.

The goalkeeper was sent off, and with no substitutions still available, midfielder Addis Hintsa was forced to defend the spot kick. He fared no better than Sisay, and Moses made it 2-0 with another composed finish. That score lasted the seven minutes of injury time, leaving Nigeria as Group C runners-up ahead of defending champions Zambia.

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