Late drama as Nigeria stutter at Malawi

Nigeria's stuttering start to their World Cup qualifying campaign continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw away by Malawi in their African zone Group F tie in Blantyre.


The result follows a narrow, and late, triumph in their opening qualifier over lowly Namibia at home last weekend.

Midfielder Reuben Gabriel scored in second half stoppage time to seemingly again hand Nigeria a late victory for a second successive week, only for Malawi substitute John Banda to equalise a minute later.

Nigeria, who have been to four of the last five World Cup finals, were expected to dominate the group, but laboured again to add to the largely ineffective performance in Calabar last Sunday, when they needed an 80th minute goal from Spanish-based striker Ike Uche to take all three points.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the last African Nations Cup and have largely overhauled their team under new coach Stephen Keshi, with former England Under-21 international Victor Moses among the new faces in the side.

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