Vincent Enyeama is not your everyday African goalkeeper; he has won the African Champions League, tasted European Champions League and single-handedly denied World Player of Year Lionnel Messi a goal at 2010 World Cup.
Understandably, when he flapped a ball in goal scramble before eventually succumbing to John Bandaâ€™s missile, Enyeama was in near tears after the final whistle.
What pained more was that Nigeria Super Eagles were mere seconds away from a win, what hurt the visitors captain was that, for all his depth and wealth of experience between the posts, he let in a silly goal.
â€œI do not know what to sayâ€¦.eish! That boyâ€¦What else can I say. We came here for three points but this team is tough,â€ he said seconds after the final whistle almost made him lose his sanity as he wandered back and forth, thumping the ball on the grounds and kicking the air.
The reaction after the final whistle for the Nigeria substitutesâ€™ bench was also that of plain pain. Some players were seen weeping, others buried their long faces in their shirts while coach Stephen Keshi refused to entertain reporters.
Keshi must have felt the curse of the giant stadium for he has never had luck here having also lost 1-0 while in charge of Togo last year.
Nigeria Football Federation technical committee chairperson Barr Chris Green faulted Enyeama repeatedly saying they drew due to a fundamental goalkeeping mistake â€œMalawi must thank our goalkeeper for the equaliser.â€
On Saturday, Nigeria came so close as defender Gabriel Reuben Shilu thumped in a header from an 89th minute free kick only for Banda, who had stepped in for Robin Ngalande on the right wing, to save Kinnah Phiriâ€™s brushes with the equaliser deep in added time.
â€œThere was no way he [Enyeama] was going to stop that shotâ€¦ I did realise that the ball would come my direction as it was kind of hit-and-miss situation. The coach made it clear when he was introducing me that he wanted me to lurk on the blind side in scoring positions,â€ said the Blue Eagles winger who has two goals in eight outings.
Banda, who was instrumental in Eagles Standard Bank Cup and Fama Cup win, also scored a scorcher on his Cecafa debut in 2-0 beating of Kenya last year in Tanzania.