It was never clearly written anywhere that Nigeria would lift the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament down in South Africa.
They defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final at the National Stadium in Johannesburg to lift their third title in history.
It was Sunday Mba who found the lone goal with just five minutes from recess. Nigeria held on for the next 50 minutes.
Burkina Faso’s Stallions had been pegged back in their own stable and it was not until the second half that they got a shot at goal.
Striker Aristide Bance had little to offer up front but by the 75th minute, he had four shots at goal.
With his yellow spaghetti mop hair, he had a flick on a ball from a freekick in the 58th minute but it was saved by Victor Enyema.
Coach Paul Put did a few tactical changes but it didnot change much.
That was Nigeria’s first success since 1994 when current coach Stephen Keshi captained the Super Eagles to a 2-1 win over Zambia in the final.
“Winning this tournament is a miracle,” Keshi told the media in a post match press conference.
“I came over one and a half years ago and i want to make all Nigerians happy,”
“It is a long process and we are not yet there.”
Skipper Joseph Yobo can now hang up his boots after winning. “I always prayed to God that i would win here it has come to pass,” Yobo, at his sixth Nations Cup tournament said.
So Mba made a perfect Sunday night for the 160 million of the most populated country in Africa. For now, they will brag as Africa Kings till 2015 in Morocco.
Nigeria 1-0 Burkina Faso
Fair Player of tournament – Victor Moses
Fair player of Match – Bakary Kone
Player of competition – Jonathan Pitroipa
Goal of tournament – Yossef Msakini