South
Africa’s Bafana Bafana once again broke Nigerian hearts as they
ended their
twenty five year
run of not beating Nigeria with a 2-0 win in Uyo on Saturday.
A
stubborn and resilient Bafana Bafana held on for ninety minutes not
giving the Super Eagles any room to win.
Both
sides had their fair share of chances, especially in the first half,
but it was the Bafana who
had the cutting edge lacking in the Eagles.
In
the 10th
minute, after a bit of ball possession from the Eagles, Wilfred Ndidi
pounced on a loose ball but his volley went wide.
Two
minutes later it was Oghenekaro Etebo whose solo run was bundled to a
corner by a defender but his appeal for a penalty was turned down.
Bafana
attacked in the 14th minute and it was a quick interchange
of passes that found the ball in the Nigerian penalty area and
Vilakazi back heeled to Keagan Dolly but Ekong cleared the ball for a
corner.
Etebo
thought he had scored in the 21st minute when he found
space in the box but his shot from close range went wide.
Moses
Simon had swapped positions with Iwobi and took his marker on the run
on thirty eight minutes but Khune tipped his cross over for a corner.
But
it was Bafana who went closest to scoring with just three minutes
left to play in the first half after Daniel Akpeyi spilled a cross
from Tebogo Langerman but Themba Zwane hit the upright after connecting the
rebound.
But
the second half of the game was what really mattered to the visitors
and the worried Nigerian fans.
Eight
minutes after the restart Nigeria’s nemesis the last time both
sides met, Tokello Rantie headed home a sublime cross from Ramahlwe
Mphahlele to give South Africa the lead.
Five
minutes after the shocking goal, Gernot Rohr decided to take off
fumbling Alex Iwobi for Ahmed Musa.
Stuart
Baxter took off Vilakazi for Lebomag Manyama and not long after in
the 69th minute Themba Zwane almost made it 2-0 when he
hit the upright after a flurry of passes left the Nigerian defence
open.
A
minute later Kayode Olarenwaju was thrown in to replace Kelechi
Iheanacho
In
the 76th minute, Moses Simon had a chance to draw level
but he shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Ahmed
Musa who had a chance to draw level a minute later; he and Olarenwaju
both had chances to score with the South African defence in disarray
but the ball was cleared off the line.
But
the game ended in the 79th minute when Percy Muzy replaced
Rantie as the Eagles were about to take a freekick, a quick clearance and through pass saw Muzy beat the offside trap from the center circle, outpace the
keeper and score to put the visitors 2-0 up.
Samuel
Tiyani raplaced Keagan Larenzo and then Victor Osimhen replaced Moses
Simon as both sides made last minute chances to make a final
impression on the game.
With
two minutes left to play, Manyama had a chance to finally bury the
Eagles after going past the last man but he shot shamelessly wide
with just the keeper to beat.
At
the final whistle, Bafana won 2-0 to finally end a 25 year jinx of
not beating Nigeria.

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