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Mohamed Salah dashes Nigerian hopes in John Obi Mikel's first game as captain

You might be surprised to find out that Mohamed Salah's goal did not come at the end of a speedy run.  He wasn't bursting through the lines or down the wing.  He was simply waiting for the throughball as the Nigerian defense broke down, and was left with a simple finish to ground the Super Eagles.

It was an unfortunate lapse in concentration for a Nigerian side, who, led by Chelsea veteran John Obi Mikel for the first time as national team captain, put together a very nice display of attacking prowess.  The front four of Iheanacho, Musa, Ighalo, and Moses Simon, plus Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi from the bench, should be one of the best in Africa, at least on paper.  Alas, games are won on the pitch, and all that prowess is fairly useless without the requisite finishing.

The overstuffed stadium in Kaduna would no doubt agree.  This does not look safe, but apparently everybody made it through the game and out of the stadium safely.

Nigeria did find the breakthrough on the hour-mark, 20-year-old midfielder Etebo Oghenekaro cleaning up for his first international goal after Iheanacho's shot hit the woodwork, but the all-important second goal would just not come.  Victor Moses even had a shot cleared off the line before Salah's last-gasp equalizer.

With the draw, Nigeria remain second the qualifying group, two points behind leaders Egypt.  Only the top teams in the 13 four-team groups are guaranteed to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.  The two best runners-up also qualify, so all hope is not lost for the Super Eagles just yet, but they'll have to get a good result in the reverse fixture on Tuesday to stay in the hunt.

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