Nigeria Hold South Africa to Qualify for Afcon

Nigeria booked a spot at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The draw takes Nigeria up to 10 points – one ahead of South Africa and three clear off Libya – guaranteeing that the Eagles will return to the continental showpiece having missed the last two editions.

The Eagles, missing a number of key players including leading scorer Odion Ighalo, hit the ground running with a goal after nine minutes after Samuel Kalu burst into the area and forced Buhle Mkhwanazi to divert the ball past Itumeleng Khune and into the back of his own net.

Bafana Bafana responded well to going a goal down and got a superb equaliser in the 26th minute after Percy Tau bamboozled the Super Eagles defence before unselfishly squaring the ball to Mohtiba to tap into an empty net.

John Ogu got the first chance at goal in the second half, his header off a corner cleared off the line by Themba Zwane in the 58th minute.

Kenneth Omeruo should have restored the Eagles’ lead in the 74th minute after he lost his marker from Kalu’s free-kick floated in from the right flank, but he failed to direct his header on target from six yards out.

Ahmed Musa looked thought he’d won the game for Nigeria after bursting through on goal following a defence spitting ball from Alex Iwobi with five minutes left to play, but he was wrongly flagged for offside.

In the end, the draw was good enough to get Nigeria past the finish line, leaving South Africa with the task of avoiding defeat away at Libya on the final matchday.


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