Nigeria 2 vs 2 South Africa: Super Eagles Eliminated In African Nations Cup Qualifiers

2013 African champions, Nigeria lost out in the chase for an automatic qualification to the 30th AFCON tourney, jeopardising their hope for a place in in Equatorial Guinea 2015.

All Nigeria needed to seal its place at next year’s African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea was a win over the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday at the Akwa Ibom international stadium.

The South Africans entered the game with the hope of breaking the jinx which has held them each time they played against the Super Eagles

Ephraim Shakes Mashaba was the same man who led the rainbow nation to its first victory over Nigeria in 2004 when they both clashed in the Nelson Mandela Challenge and they looked to be on a repeat of that feat ten years after

Looking charged up to shot the country into the group stages, Nigeria fired up the first half with purposeful plays in the early hours of the game, causing the South Africans to retreat deeper into the defence

Ahmed Musa moved for a goal in the first half but was denied each time he shot at goal by the man in gloves at the other end, Darren Keet.

Nigeria pushed forward the more, needing that early win and with their other mind in Sudan where Congo also was fighting for its fate

As Nigeria got over complacent on the field, they received the shocker of the night when Tokelo Rantie shuffled past a lethargic Nigerian defence to score at the 41 minute: It was Nigeria 0-1 South Africa

With that goal and hope looking blighted, the first half ended with Nigeria now needing to outscore the South Africans in the second interval

The game resumed in the second half with yet another stunning surprise. Rantle again stoed the Nigerian defence backline of Omeruo-Egwuekwe who had never played together before with another goal; 0-2 it was for ‘the boys the boys’

That second goal denting the excitement from the win at Point Noire last Saturday and leaving Coach Stephen Keshi with thoughts of where his faith lies in the months to come if Nigeria does not make it to the 30th edition of the African tournament in Equatorial Guinea; moreso, a title defence loss.

Just when Keshi may have collapsed in his flooding thoughts, substitute, Omatsone Aluko pulled one back for the African champions

Typical of the Nigerians when faced against fate, the Eagles mounted more pressure on the South African defence and that led to a woeful attack from a Bafana Bafana defender who had to be sent off, cutting the team down to eleven men.

As the last minutes drew close to the last seconds, history was on the verge of been broken and mended for both countries as news filtered in from Khartoum that Sudan fell 0-2 to Congo, moving the Red Devils, 2 points ahead of Nigeria.

At a stunner, Omatsone Aluko in a breather, secured a brace for himself, levelling the score but that was not enough to shoot Nigeria into the group stage of Equatorial Guinea 2015.

The draw for Nigeria meant that they become the second African Champions to lose out in the qualification phase of the tournament after Egypt in 2010

The result for Shakes Mashaba and his team made it the country's first progress over Nigeria in a competitive match and a second loss to Shakes Mashaba.

At the end of proceedings on Wednesday, the remaning slots for Equatorial Guinea 2015 closed with 15 others joining the hosts

Qualified Countries:

Equatorial Guinea as host

Group A: South Africa, Congo; Group B: Mali, Malawi; Group C: Burkina Faso, Gabon; Group D: Cameroon, Ivory Coast and RD Congo (qualify as best 3rd placed team); Group E: Ghana, Guinea; Group F: Cape Verde, Zambia; Group G: Tunisia, Senegal.

More from category

Recommended articles

Roundup: Hosts Morocco, Senegal off to winning start, Tunisia pummel debutants Togo

Roundup: Hosts Morocco, Senegal off to winning start, Tunisia pummel debutants Togo

Nigeria vs South Africa: Road to number 10 starts here for Super Falcons

Nigeria vs South Africa: Road to number 10 starts here for Super Falcons

Ex-Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr tips Victor Osimhen to replace Barcelona target

Ex-Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr tips Victor Osimhen to replace Barcelona target

African Super League is coming, CAF reveals

African Super League is coming, CAF reveals

Nigeria's D'Tigers wrap up 1st round with 91-72 victory against Uganda

Nigeria's D'Tigers wrap up 1st round with 91-72 victory against Uganda

Top 10 Richest Super Eagles players

Top 10 Richest Super Eagles players