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Mweene stays cool for spot kick

25 enero 2013 21:12

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene admitted to feeling nervous as he stepped up to equalise against Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations.

Trailing 1-0 after Emmanuel Emenike's goal 12 minutes into the second half, Zambia forward Emmanuel Mayuka was pulled back by Ogenyi Onazi late on, although replays suggested Onazi was a little unfortunate.

The custodian converted the penalty in the 85th minute that gave Zambia a 1-1 draw in their Group C clash.

"It's something I always dreamed of and it's good for my reputation so I'm happy with it," Mweene said.

"Even at my club I always take penalties, it's not only for the national side. When I come here I do extra penalties at the end of training too and I get other players to take penalties against me."

"It was intimidating as you have to walk all the way to the other side of the pitch but you have to keep cool. I knew we were a goal down and I had to score to make sure we got level so it was difficult but I kept my cool and scored."

After picking up two points in their first two group games, Zambian coach Herve Renard thinks his side are still well-placed to qualify for the knockout stages.

"With the circumstances of course I'm happy with the result. We can't forget we were taking on Nigeria and they didn't lose one game last year and they continued in the same way here. We are still looking good for qualification too," he said.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyema, meanwhile, was enraged by the decision to award Zambia the penalty.

"When it comes to the call for the penalty I think it was one of the worst decisions I've ever seen in the history of football," Enyema said.

"It doesn't belong in football. If we want to develop football in Africa we need to get rid of calls like this.

"For a game of such magnitude, between Nigeria and Zambia, to give such a weak call. I don't know what's happening with the refereeing, I'm really mad about it.

"In the last game we had a point blank penalty turned down and we all saw it. But I respect our opponent, it was a great penalty when he scored it but the call was one of the worst I've seen in life."

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was content with the result.

"I don't have a choice to not be happy with the result as it ended 1-1," he said.

"My goal was to win the game, with respect to Zambia they are a great team and defending champions.

"They have been together for a number of years so they are not that easy to play against. But I'm happy with the score line."

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