Nigeria’s Super Eagles continued their unbeaten run against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in international football on Sunday as they held on to a 1-1 draw at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
Caretaker coach of the Eagles Daniel Amokachi seemed to have briefed his players to play deep and catch the hosts on the counter as South Africa enjoyed large possession of the ball.
As early as the 2nd minute though, Nigeria was presented with their first chance to trouble the South Africans but Aaron Samuel’s freekick was shot straight at the South African keeper, Itmalangho Khune.
Leon Balogun’s cross is headed out for a throw in the 5th minute but Kingsley Sokari’s ensuing shot was wayward. Daniel Akpeyi acrobatically palmed away the ball a minute later after a direct shot for a South Africa corner.
The former youth international dived again to save another shot towards goal, the first of brilliant saves to come from the goalkeeper who has not had his fair shot at national team duties.
Kenneth Omeruo went down with a hamstring injury and had to be substituted by Godfrey Oboabona in the 12th minute of the game.
Rantie failed to get to the end of a long pass though Akpeyi read the move pretty well and was off his line to claim the ball.
Leon Balogun blocked a goal-bound shot from Rantie in the 25th minute, which went out for a corner after the striker impressively turned away from the other Eagles defenders with a nimble movement.
In the 42th minute, Aaron Samuel curled in a left-footed shot that missed target. And two minutes later, the South African forwards failed to punish a clumsy Eagles defence abut the Nigerian defenders eventually cleared their lines.
Amokachi made three half time substitutes and one soon after the kick off of the second half. Musa’s freekick looped over the bar while Aaron Samuel went on a slalom run but commits a foul as he runs at the defender marking him threelminutes later.
Godfrey Oboabona committed a reckless and needless tackle in the penalty box against Serero in the 61at minute. Jali steps up but Daniel Akpeyi saves his penalty. The South Africans get a corner soon afterwards but the chances are now wasted.
Ahmed Musa scored Nigeria’s much sought-after goal with five minutes left on the clock. The CSKA Moscow speedster received a great pass from Odion Ighalo. He controls the ball coolly and places his curling shot to the far right beyond the reach of the Bafana keeper, Khune.
The poor defending of the Eagles defenders led to a South Africa equaliser in the 90th minute of the game. Bongani Zungu scored for his team, sweeping home a rebound after a good work by Daniel Akpeyi, who is let down by his poor defenders, chief among them, Godfrey Oboabona.