Nigeria’s Super Eagles will not defend the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title next year in Equatorial Guinea and this is authoritative
This followed a disappointing 2-2 draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.
It was a bad day for the reigning African champions, who posted a 2-0 away win over the Red Devils of Republic of the Congo in their last game, as the South Africans were on the rampage while the game lasted.
Ahmed Musa in the early minutes of the game lost three clear chances. His effort was first stopped by the cross bar while the other attempts were foiled by goalkeeper Darren Keet.
Tokelo Rantie puts Bafana Bafana ahead in the 42nd minutes off a solo run where he shot the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper vincent Enyeama.
Rantie again doubled the lead for the visitors barely four minutes into the second half when he out of sheer brilliance dribbled past Kenneth Omeruo and onrushing keeper Enyeama before he tucked the ball into the yawning net.
Coach Stephen Keshi later introduced the duo of Omatsone Aluko and Aaron Samuel in place of Raheem Lawal and Omeruo respectively.
Omatsone justifed his inclusion in the 67th minute as he scored during a goal mouth scramble to raise the hope of Nigerians towards victory which was not to be.
Despite playing against 10 men following the expulsion of Reneilwe Letsholonyane in the 71st minute, the Eagles could only rally to a leveler during added time, as Aluko again beat keeper Keet with a right foot grounder.
South Africa topped the group with 12 points ahead of Republic of the Congo which also on Wednesday defeated Jediane Falcons of Sudan 1-0 to pick the second ticket with 10 points, while the Eagles finished with eight points.
Nigeria, it will be recalled, under coach Samson Siasia also failed to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup won by Zambia.