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AMBROSE UNDER FIRE

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RAGING Nigerian fans have blasted blundering Efe Ambrose following another high-profile howler.

The Celtic defender came under fire after being blamed for Egypt’s last-gasp equaliser in the crucial African Cup of Nations encounter in the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.

Ambrose didn’t check along the backline when he claimed offside as Mohammed Salah raced onto a through ball before blasting in the leveller.

Unfortunately, the centre-half had failed to notice a fellow-defender had played the speedy AS Roma winger well onside. 

Left-back Etebo Oghenekaro was equally guilty at stepping out at the wrong moment, but it was the Hoops star who was in line for some furious comments by angry supporters of the Super Eagles.

They took to social media to pillory the 27-year-old who cost £800,000 when ex-boss Neil Lennon signed him from Israeli outfit FC Ashdod in June 2012. .

One also took the opportunity to have a sideswipe at the standard of football in Scotland. He said: “I wonder the kinda strikers they have in the Scottish League. How Efe Ambrose is coping I dunno.”

Another wrote: “Check the dictionary for the meaning of ‘mistake’. You might find a picture of Efe Ambrose there.”

And one tweeted: “I just cannot understand why Efe Ambrose is still a footballer.”

The Nigerians were within seconds of three points which would have put them in pole position in the race to reach the finals in Gabon next year. Now they trail the Egyptians by two points in Group G while Tanzania are third, one adrift.

Oghenekaro, who would go from hero to zero, netted on the hour mark when he followed up a rebound off the crossbar to scramble the ball into the net.

However, it just wasn’t the unfortunate Ambrose’s day and that was underlined when he fired in a 25-yard drive that struck the woodwork.

Egypt – known as ‘The Pharaohs’ – came back into the game and dominated midfield. Ambrose and Co lived dangerously as Carl Ikeme, the English-born keeper of Wolves, kept the opponents at bay – until the stoppage-time leveller. 

The Nigerians take on Egypt again on Tuesday when they travel to Borg El Arab in their next qualifier.

Ambrose has suffered a torrid season at club level, too, and has been sent off twice – in the goalless draw against Hearts at Parkhead in September and the shock 3-1 defeat from Ross County in the League Cup semi-final in January.

His last start for the SPFL champions was the 2-0 Scottish Cup win over East Kilbride on February 7.

 
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