NAIJA REBRANDER

For the second time in two years, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have failed to land in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea as the defending AFCON champions last night failed to pick one of the two tickets from Group A following the 2-2 draw against South Africa at the Akwa Ibom interna­tional stadium.

The draw against South Africa meant that the coach Stephen Keshi led Eagles will not be in Equatorial Guinea to defend the title they won last year in South Africa as Congo Brazaville won 1-0 away to pick the ticket in the group.

In 2012, the Nigerian side failed to qualify for the AFCON which was co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. South Africa started strongly and had a chance to take the lead as early as the fourth minute when a mistake in the Nigerian defence allowed Tokelo Rantie through on goal, but he fired over from 12-yards out.

After that the Super Eagles really took control of the possession stakes and began pestering the South African goal, but continuously found goalkeeper Darren Keet in their way. Nigeria, despite their dominance could not open the scoring and South Africa made the best of their one decent chance in the 41st minute. Rantie showed great strength and determination to drive into the box, beating one defender before firing the ball past Vincent Enyeama from eight-yards out to give Bafana the lead at the break, 1-0. It was a perfect start to the second half for South Africa after Rantie doubled his side’s lead four minutes after the restart when he broke into the box again, rounded the keeper and scored, 2-0.

Nigeria began to mount their comeback and pulled a goal back in the 68th minute when Sone Aluko tucked home an Uche shot that re­bounded off the post, 2-1.
South Africa were reduced to ten men in the 72nd minute when Reneilwe Letsholonyane was sent for an early shower after receiving his second yellow card.

Nigeria piled on the pressure in the dying minutes of the game and did manage to find an equaliser through Aluko’s second goal in the 94th minute, 2-2, but it was not enough to save the Super Eagles.
Credit: Sunnewsonline
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NAIJA REBRANDER

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