Bafana snatch crucial point against Nigeria in World Cup qualifier

Bafana Bafana will be returning to South Africa with a crucial point away from home after playing to a 1-1 draw against Nigeria during their World Cup Qualifier clash in Uyo, Nigeria, on Friday night.

The result means that Bafana and the Super Eagles remain on number four and five, respectively. This after Benin and Lesotho won their matches and leapfrogged them in the early kick-off.

The stakes were high as both teams went into the game knowing that they had to get a positive result. With Nigeria desperate to win at home and South Africa looking to get their revenge from the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) four months ago.

Bafana coach Hugo Broos named a strong side and made three changes to the team that faced the Super Eagles at the Afcon.

Forwards Elias Mokwana and Iqraam Rayners led the line of attack alongside Percy Tau. Defender Siyabonga Ngezana got the nod and started the match in the absence of Grant Kekana.

Nigeria had home crowd advantage

Broos’ opposite number Finidi George fielded an equally strong side. And the surprise addition was striker Paul Onuachu ahead of talisman Victor Boniface upfront.

As expected, the Super Eagles started on the front foot as they took the game to Bafana in search of an early goal in front of their home crowd.

However, the visitors absorbed the pressure and ended up growing into the game and broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. This was courtesy of midfield maestro Themba Zwane. He dazzled through the defenders and left goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali with no chance.

Zwane was set up by midfielder Sphephelo Sithole, who put him through with an exquisite defense slipping pass on the edge of the box.

The two side sides took the game to each other as it was end-to-end stuff. With Bafana looking to go into the break with that cushion goal. While Nigeria were desperate to get the equaliser, but they went into half time trailing.

Shared the spoils

One minute into the second half, Nigeria come out guns blazing. They capitalised on a lapse of concentration from Bafana and made an immediate response. The Super Eagles  equalised through Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.

The game opened up and the home side were seemingly feeding off their home crowd very well. They were the more threatening side in front of goal.

Nigeria kept on banging on the South African door. But the two sides could not be separated. They had to share spoils in what was an action-packed game of football.

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