African champions Nigeria lost 3-2 to Congo on Saturday in their first 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier at the UJ Eusene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday.
Thierry Bifouma scored twice while Prince Oniangue scored the other goal. Efe Ambrose and Gbolahan Salami find the back of the net for Nigeria but Congo got their first victory over the Nigerian side since 1970.
Congo are now joint leaders in the group but perhaps the complexion of the game might have been different if Nosa Igiebor had converted a golden chance top bring the Super Eagles back into the game.
Congo dominated possession even after going one goal down thanks to an Efe Ambrose header from a free kick played by Ahmed Musa who was yellow-carded in the game for dissent. John Mikel Obi also found himself in the book.
Questions will be asked of the decision of Stephen Keshi to bench Emmanuel Emenike in favour of Uche Nwofor who only had one decent effort in the game, after he latched onto an Nnamdi Oduamadi square pass and delivered a shot that missed target by whiskers.
Eagles keeper on the day, Austin Ejide agrees that the result was a wake-up call and happy to see the team finish the game without any injury to the players.
“The Congo players played as if they were the home game. We improved in the second half. If we had played in the first half as much as we did in the second half, we wouldn’t have had this result. Thank God we finished the game without injuries to the players.
“This game was a wake-up call and we shall go to South Africa with the ambition to win,” the shot-stopper assured.
Sudan on Friday lost 3-0 to South Africa at home. The games on Wednesday; South Africa versus Nigeria and Congo versus Sudan could go long ways to shaping up how the group might finish and which countries qualifies for the
Nations Cup in January from the group.