NELSPRUIT, South Africa, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Champions Zambia saved themselves from defeat and possible elimination from the African Nations Cup when goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene scored an 85th minute penalty to give them a 1-1 draw with Nigeria at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday.
Earlier Nigeria had becomed the fourth successive team in the finals to miss a penalty against Zambia when John Obi Mikel struck the post with a 25th-minute spotkick before Nigeria took the lead in the Group C heavyweight clash in the 57th minute.
The goal came when when Emmanuel Emineke collected a ball from Mikel and created space for himself to fire low past Mweene for his second goal of the competition.
The open, attacking match on a rock-hard pitch was the third successive 1-1 draw in the group and left Zambia and Nigeria with two points from their opening two matches. Burkina Faso and Ethiopia were playing each other in the same stadium at 1800GMT. (Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by John Mehaffey)