Nigeria won its first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1994, beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in a final in Johannesburg, South Africa, before a crowd estimated at 87,000.

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Nigeria defeats Burkina Faso

in Africa Cup of Nations final

Nigeria won its first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1994, beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in Sunday’s final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Sunday Mba scored on a left-footed volley off a rebound in the 40th minute in a match that attracted a crowd estimated at 87,000.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi became the second person to be a winner in the tournament as a player and a coach. Keshi was the Super Eagles’ captain when they won in 1994.

Mahmoud el-Gohary played for Egypt’s title team in 1959 and coached the 1998 champs.

Keshi said, “Winning this tournament is mainly for my nation. When I came on board a year and a half ago, my dream is to make all Nigerians happy.”

Nigeria is ranked 52nd in the world and Burkina Faso is 92nd.

“Everybody came through with a great match and that’s what we needed,” Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo said. “Everyone gave something extra and it made the difference.”

Man U leads league by 12 points

Manchester United opened a season-high, 12-point lead in the English Premier League by defeating visiting Everton 2-0 on goals by Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie.

The 40-year-old Giggs beat American goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 13th minute to become the only person to score in every season of the Premier League, which began play in 1992.

Van Persie scored in first-half stoppage time, his league-high 19th goal this season.

Manchester United (21-3-2) has 65 points and defending champion Manchester City (15-3-8) is second with 53 points.

Messi extends record streak

Lionel Messi extended his Spanish-league record by scoring a goal in his 13th straight match, and FC Barcelona routed visiting Getafe 6-1.


Pitcher Matsuzaka, Cleveland

agree on minor-league deal

With at least one spot open in his rotation, new Cleveland manager Terry Francona will give a pitcher he knows well a shot to win a starting job.

Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, 32, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians.

Matsuzaka, who pitched for Francona with the Boston Red Sox, must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized. Cleveland pitchers and catchers reported to camp in Goodyear, Ariz. on Sunday, with physicals scheduled to take place Monday.

Matsuzaka would get a $1.5 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster and would be able to earn up to $2.5 million in performance bonuses based on innings and starts.

Matsuzaka had a 50-37 record with a 4.52 earned-run average in six seasons with Boston.

Orioles sign Johnson, Hammel

Pitcher Jason Hammel, 30, will earn $6.75 million and All-Star closer Jim Johnson, 29, will make $6.5 million under their one-year contracts with Baltimore that avoided arbitration hearings.

Hairston, Cubs finalize contract

Outfielder Scott Hairston and the Chicago Cubs finalized a two-year contract reportedly worth $5 million. Hairston, 32, hit .263 with a career-high 20 home runs for the New York Mets last year.


Nadal loses 2 title matches

Rafael Nadal of Spain lost to Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in the VTR Open singles final on clay in Vina del Mar, Chile.

It was Nadal’s first tournament since he sat out for seven months because of a left-knee injury and stomach virus.

Nadal is 36-5 in singles finals on clay.

The 27-year-old Zeballos, who earned his first singles title on any surface, said, “This is the game of my life.”

After the singles match, Nadal and Juan Monaco of Argentina lost 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles final to Italians Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace.


• The U.S. team was ousted in the first round of the Fed Cup tennis competition, losing 3-2 to Italy in Rimini, Italy.

In the decisive doubles match, Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci beat Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2.

• American skier Lindsey Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall champion, had surgery on her right knee in Vail, Colo. She was injured in a fall Tuesday at the world championships in Austria. There is no timetable for her return to competition; surgeon Bill Sterett said he is optimistic Vonn, 28, will make a full recovery.

• French skier Marion Rolland won the downhill at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.

• Two-time world champion Mao Asada won figure skating’s Four Continents, leading a Japanese sweep of the first three places in Osaka, Japan.

Akiko Suzuki placed second and Kanako Murakami was third. Christina Gao of Cincinnati finished fourth.

• The Chicago Blackhawks blanked host Nashville 3-0 to remain the only NHL team that hasn’t lost in regulation this season (10-0-2).

Goaltender Corey Crawford made 17 saves for Chicago’s first shutout of the season.

Seattle Times news services