AFCON 2015 QUALIFIERS: Eagles Walk Tight Rope with Goalless Draw in Cape Town

Super Eagles failed in their bid to pick maximum points off the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Cape Town last night with a scoreless result that has now thrown spanners into Nigeria’s defence of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) won in the rainbow nation last year.
The Red Devils of Congo who defeated Eagles in Calabar last weekend consolidated on their good ride in the AFCON 2015 qualifiers with a 2-0 home win against Sudan to top Group A with six points. South Africa with an earlier victory over the same Sudan are second with four points leaving Nigeria at the third with just a point from two games. Sudan is at the rear with no point.
Bafana Bafana created the first chance of the game in the sixth minute as Mandla Masango’s cross from the right of the box was deflected into the path of Manyisa, who shot on target but saw his effort well blocked by Efe Ambrose.
The home team looked the more fluent of the two sides in attack, though lone striker Bongani Ndulula was often left a little isolated and struggled to have any influence on the game despite his admirable industry.
Super Eagles created nothing more than half chances, the best of which fell to Nosa Igiebor in the 36th minute, only for the attacker to shoot off target under pressure from Bafana Bafana’s defence.
However, in Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike, the Super Eagles had arguably the two most dangerous players on the pitch. However, they weren’t receiving particularly good service from their midfield, mainly due to good work from the likes of Andile Jali and Dean Furman.
Eagles nearly broke the deadlock with just 10 minutes to play in the second half when Musa’s cross from the right found substitute Christian Osaguona. He headed on target, but Erick Mathoho positioned himself brilliantly to clear off the goal line.
Tokelo Rantie then had the best chance of the match, using his pace to sprint in behind the Eagles’ defence and find himself one-on-one with Austin Ejide, but the goalkeeper made a fine save to keep the score line blank.
South Africa: Meyiwa, Ngcongca, Hlatshwayo, Mathoho, Matlaba, Jali, Furman, Masango (Zwane 82’), Vilakazi, Manyisa, Ndulula (Rantie 46’)
Nigeria: Ejide, Echiejile, Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Onazi, Mikel, Igiebor (Aluko 71’), Musa, Salami (Osaguona 63’), Emenike
RESULTS
S’ Africa 0-0 Nigeria
Congo 2-0 Sudan
Egypt 0-1 Tunisia
Botswana 0-2 Senegal
Angola 0-3 Burkina Faso
Togo 2-3 Ghana
Lesotho 1-1 Gabon
Cameroun 4-1 Cote d Ivoire
Mozambique 1-1 Niger
Cape Verde 2-1 Zambia
Sierra Leone 0-2 Congo DR
Malawi 3-2 Ethiopia
 

STANDINGS

Group A

Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Congo
2
2
0
0
5
2
3
6
2
S’ Africa
2
1
1
0
3
0
3
4
3
Nigeria
2
0
1
1
2
3
-1
1
4
Sudan
2
0
0
2
0
5
-5
0

Group B

Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Mali
2
1
1
0
2
0
2
4
2
Algeria
2
1
1
0
2
1
1
4
3
Malawi
2
1
0
1
3
4
-1
3
4
Ethiopia
2
0
0
2
3
5
-2
0

Group C

Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Burkina Faso
2
2
0
0
5
0
5
6
2
Gabon
2
1
1
0
2
1
1
4
3
Lesotho
2
0
1
1
1
3
-2
1
4
Angola
2
0
0
2
0
4
-4
0

Group D

Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Cameroun
2
2
0
0
6
1
5
6
2
Congo DR
2
1
0
1
2
2
0
3
3
Côte d’Ivoire
2
1
0
1
3
5
-2
3
4
Sierra Leone
2
0
0
2
1
4
-3
0

Group E

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Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
1
Uganda
2
1
 

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