Yakubu keeps Nigeria in the hunt

The Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni scores a first-half penalty to give Nigeria a 1-0 win over minnows Benin in Benguela in Group C of the African Cup of Nations.

The Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni scored a first-half penalty to give Nigeria a 1-0 win over minnows Benin in Benguela in Group C of the African Cup of Nations and keep them on track for a quarter-final place. Nigeria, who have qualified for the World Cup in June, secured their first victory in the tournament following a 3-1 loss to Egypt. Shuaibu Amodu's team now have three points from two games and can still reach the quarterfinals.

Nigeria took the lead when the Benin goalkeeper Rachad Chitou did well to beat out Djiman Koukou's attempt but in the goalmouth scramble it fell to Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke who crossed in towards Peter Odemwingie. Romuald Boco was adjudged to have handled Odemwingie's header and Yakubu scored the resulting penalty to clinch three points. Elsewhere, Paul Le Guen is striving to keep his Cameroon team focused on the massive job in hand to try and keep their African Nations Cup alive when they come up against Zambia today (KO 10.30pm).

The Indomitable Lions cannot afford another slip-up in Lubango following their humiliating 1-0 loss to Gabon in their opening Group D encounter. It was undoubtedly the shock of the first round so far and another poor result could leave Africa's number one-ranked team facing an early exit. "We remain focused," Le Guen said. "The players are calm, they've trained well and we intend to approach the game against Zambia with all the seriousness it deserves. We hope to have more success than in the first match when we did not deserve to lose."

Tunisa play Gabon in the day's other game (KO 8pm). * With agencies

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