Highs and Lows of Super Eagles 1-1 Draw with S/Africa

Highs and Lows of Super Eagles 1-1 Draw with S/Africa

Nigeria started like a house on fire and they were ahead in the early stages of the first half.

The Super Eagles’ lead came through a deflection from Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanaza that beat a helpless Itumeleng Khune at his near post.

South Africa chased for an immediate response as Percy Tau came one-on-one with goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa but the former took his time to pick a spot and Nigeria’s defence quickly recovered.

However, the former Sundowns’ man would soon make up for the blunder.

With a mass of Super Eagles defenders breathing down his neck, he cunningly chipped the ball to set himself one-on-one with Enzwena before magnanimously setting up an on-rushing Lebohang Mothiba for an easy tap-in.

Amid his ‘sharp-looking’ performances during camp last week, prodigal son Thulani Serero failed to bring his best on match-day.

It was his first return to the team since his refusal to honour a call-up unless he was guaranteed game-time.

Following his consistent performances for SBV Vitesse, Stuart Baxter recalled him for the game and gave him a starting berth but he was lacklustre.

To everyone’s displeasure, a lot was expected from him considering that he played a key role in Bafana’s historic 2-0 win over the Super Eagles in the qualifiers’ opener in Uyo.

Deservedly so, he was replaced by Thembinkosi Lorch in the 60th minute.

During half-time, clearly, South Africa’s technical team told their troops that Libya was tearing islanders Seychelles apart and had to get a win in order to avoid the delay of qualifying for next year’s continental showpiece.

Bafana Bafana produced a better performance in the last stages of the stanza, as they were quick going forward especially after the introduction of Lorch, but their finishing let them down.

As a result, while they were missing chances, the Eagles did manage to put the ball into the back of the net but they were ruled offside.

However, the draw was enough to book Nigeria’s flight ticket to the 2019 AFCON, while South Africa’s fate will be decided after their away trip to Libya early next year.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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