Nigeria have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Super Eagles now have 10 points, with one game to spare.
Stuart Baxter’s charges were on the ropes after what was supposed to be a routine victory over Seychelles away in their last qualifier which ended in a disappointing goalless draw on October 16.
Bafana had thrashed the Pirates 6-0 three days earlier at FNB Stadium, but surrendered top spot in Group E with the stalemate.
On the other hand, Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles beat Libya in their back-to-back games, winning 4-0 at home and 3-2 away in a space of three days to top the group.
Eagles skipper Ahmed Musa interchanged passes with Kelechi Iheanacho before releasing a curler which was brilliantly taken by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in the sixth minute of of play.
Nigeria opened scoring through an own goal from Buhle Mkhwanazi.
The defender deflected Samuel Kalu’s cross past his own goalkeeper.
Percy Tau should have equalised for Bafana Bafana but he was stopped in his tracks by Kalu, before Khune’s quick reaction save spared Thamsanqa Mkhize’s blushes after the fullback mistimed his back pass, almost letting Musa through on goal.
In the 26th minute, South Africa were back on level terms.
Tau tore apart the Eagles defence before unselfishly setting up Lebo Mothiba who tucked home to an open net.
As in the first half, the second stanza got off to a rather slow start.
There were few chances for either side in the opening 10 minutes.
Themba Zwane made a perfect clearance from John Ogu’s header following a sweet cross.
Both sides looked tentative in attack as we closed in on the final exchanges in Soweto.
Omeruo squandered a glorious chance for Nigeria from a free-kick.
The centre-back headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Musa found the back of the net following