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Nigeria qualify for AFCON for the first-time since 2012

Super Eagles By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 17/11/2018

The Super Eagles qualified for AFCON for the first time after they were forced to a 1-1 draw by hosts South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon encounter at FNB Stadium.

Nigeria have 10 points from five matches and their final game at home against Seychelles will now be a mere formality while Bafana Bafana, on the other hand, will have to wait till their final qualifying match against Libya in March to decide their fate.

Libya thumped home team Seychelles 8-1 and now have seven points from five matches, just two points behind second-placed South Africa who will need to avoid defeat in March to also advance to next year tournament in Cameroon.

The Eagles took the lead in the ninth minute when Samuel Kalu’s cross was turned into his own net by Buhle Mkhwanazi but was after an effort by the visitors had been disallowed.

However, South Africa drew level through France-based striker Lebo Mothiba on 26 minutes, when he slotted home a cross by the Man of the Match Percy Tau dribble two Nigerian defender.

Kenneth Omeruo had a chance to restore Nigeria’s lead in the 74th minute but his free header off a Kalu free kick missed target narrowly and in the 83rd-minute stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa’s goal was disallowed even though TV replays later showed that it should have stood.

Eagles starting XI vs South Africa – Ikechukwu Ezenwa – Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, Leon Balogun – Jamilu Collins, John Ogu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Samuel Kalu, Kelechi Iheanacho (Isaac Success 69) – Alex Iwobi (Semi Ajayi 90), Ahmed Musa (Captain) (Henry Onyekuru 86)
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