South Africa will need to get at least a point in Libya next march if they are to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, following a 1-1 draw against Nigeria at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
The result moved the Super Eagles up to 10 points in Group E and they have duly booked their place at next year’s showpiece in Cameroon.
Bafana Bafana, though, is made to rue their goalless draw away to Seychelles with Libya having hammered the same opponents 8-1 to keep their hopes of Afcon qualification alive.
Nigeria hit the front in the ninth minute of the clash at Soccer City as Buhle Mkhwanazi indadvertedly deflected Samuel Kalu’s rasping cross past Itumeleng Khune and into the back of his own net.
South Africa hit back in the 26th minute following a moment of brilliance from Percy Tau who tricked his way past the Super Eagles defensive line before teeing up Lebo Mothiba who was left with the easiest of finishes, 1-1.
The action sizzled out for the ensuing minutes up until the interval, with the score deadlocked as the teams headed down the tunnel for a breather.
Nigeria were the better team in the second-half and had the ball in the back of the net in the 84th minute after Alex Iwobi had played through Ahmed Musa, but the assistant’s flag was raised for offside.
Bafana Bafana never looked like a team that needed a win in the closing stages of the match as they game duly ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
South Africa (1) 1 (Mothiba 26′)
Nigeria (1) 1 (Mkhwanazi OG 9′)
South Africa: Khune; Mkhize, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Mabunda, Kekana, Serero (Lorch 61′), Zwane, Tau, Mothiba.
Nigeria: Ezenwa; Collins, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Balogun, Etebo, Ogu, Iwobi (Ajayi 90+3′), Musa (Onyekuru 87′), Kalu, Iheanacho (Success 69′).