Nigeria Beat Benin 1-0

By Daily Graphic

Nigeria revived their chances of reaching the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations after an edgy 1-0 win over Benin in Group C last Saturday.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni converted a 42nd- minute penalty after Squirrels defender Romuald Boco handled in the box.

Stephane Sessegnon and Nouhoum Kobena struck the woodwork for Benin with powerful shots, but Nigeria held out.

Nigeria will advance if they beat Mozambique on Wednesday, while Benin must defeat Egypt to maintain hopes.

Nigeria's under-pressure coach Shaibu Amodu made two changes to the side that woefully disappointed in their 3-1 defeat by Egypt in their opening game last Wednesday.

Fit-again Osaze Odemwingie got a starting place, while England-based defender Danny Shittu replaced Obinna Nwaneri at the heart of the defence.

The changes paid dividends as Nigeria dominated the early exchanges, but found the defensive pair of the Khaled Adenon and Seidath Tchomogo in good form.

The Super Eagles should have broken the deadlock on 14 minutes when Kalu Uche set up Yakubu up to beat the offside trap but the Everton forward blasted wide with only Rachad Chitou at his mercy.

Moments later, the Squirrels were left off the hook after the goalkeeper clashed with his centre-back Adenon leaving the ball to sprawl but Yakubu failed to take advantage.

Benin suffered a blow on 25 minutes when playmaker Sessegnon attracted his second yellow card of the tournament for challenging the referee, ruling him out of their crucial last group game with Egypt on Wednesday.

Chinedu Obasi and Yakubu fluffed decent scoring chances in the box before Sessegnon threatened to open the scoring for the Squirrels with a delightful effort in the 38th minute.