Nigeria’s Chelsea star makes his mark
SOWETO, South Africa (AFP) – Victor Moses has exploded on to the Africa Cup of Nations scene on his debut appearance, the pacey Chelsea winger making a huge contribution to Nigeria’s run to Sunday’s final.
The Super Eagles were 11 minutes away in their closing group game from taking an early flight back to Lagos, only for the Stamford Bridge star to score the first of two penalties that would keep them in the competition.
That Moses-led 2-0 win over Ethiopia gave Nigeria the runners-up spot behind surprise table-toppers Burkina Faso.
Moses, who missed his side’s 1-1 opening draw with the Burkinabe because of a hamstring injury, could not have imagined then he would get another crack at taking on the Stallions in the final at Soccer City.
He entered the Nations Cup fray in the 1-1 draw with Zambia, being replaced late on after picking up another minor injury.
In the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast and the 4-1 victory over Mali in Wednesday’s semifinal, Moses’ put in manful performances. Sharp and quick, he made a menace of himself, usually down the left flank.
Against Mali, he picked up yet another injury, having to come off on 52 minutes with a left ankle problem this time, but all the signs are he will take his place on the pitch in Soweto.