African agony for Oruma

Servette Geneva's Wilson Oruma has seen his African Nations Cup dream end in misery, with the Nigerian midfielder missing a vital penalty in his country's semi-final match against Senegal.

This content was published on February 8, 2002 - 10:30

Having played a major part in Servette's UEFA Cup success this season, the former Olympic gold medallist recently managed to force his way back into the Nigerian side, despite the reluctance of head coach Amodu Shaibu.

Oruma was hoping to use the African Nations Cup as a stage to showcase his talents in time for a World Cup call-up this summer.

However the 25-year-old may now have damaged his chances after seeing his spot-kick rebound off the Senegalese post in the dying moments of extra time to hand the west Africans a 2-1 win.

After being reduced to ten men in the first half, Senegal fired themselves ahead with a second half goal from former Grasshoppers Zurich striker Papa Bouba Diop. An equaliser from Nigeria's Julius Aghahowa with three minutes of regular time remaining then took the match into extra time.

Senegal regained the lead in the 98th minute with a goal from midfielder Alissane Diao, but with no golden goal rule in the African Nations Cup, there was still time for Oruma to be offered his moment of glory - and miss it.

Oruma can at least now concentrate on his next major challenge with Servette - this month's UEFA Cup fourth round fixture with Spanish giants Valencia. Senegal will go on to meet defending champions Cameroon in Sunday's final.

by Mark Ledsom with agencies

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