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Mothiba Rescues Bafana, Nigeria Qualify For Afcon

2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier 

Result: Bafana Bafana 1-1 Nigeria

Date: 16 November 2018

Venue: FNB Stadium

Click through the gallery to see some of the action at the FNB Stadium.

Bafana Bafana will have to wait until the final Group E game to secure qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after drawing 1-1 with Nigeria, who have now qualified for the tournament.

Stuart Baxter handed a start to Cape Town City defender Thamsanqa Mkhize ahead of Ramahlwe Mphahlele, while Tiyani Mabunda and Hlompho Kekana partnered up in the middle of the park.

Ahmed Musa had the first chance at goal for the Super Eagles in the fifth minute after bursting his way into the edge of the box, but his curling effort was saved by Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Nigeria took the lead in the tenth minute after a cross from Samuel Kalu deflected off Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi’s shoulder and sneaked in at Itumeleng Khune's near post.

Bafana responded well by creating half-chances on quick transitions moments after conceding but they were not clinical enough in front of goals.

In the 26th minute, Lebogang Mothiba brought Stuart Baxter’s charges level with a simple tap in inside the box after Percy Tau eliminated two defenders before unselfishly setting up the France-based striker, 1-1.

The Super Eagles ended the half the stronger of the two sides although they were unable to restore their lead and went into the break level at 1-1.

The match was very tense in the first ten of the second stanza as the two sides were having a measured approach, although the Super Eagles shaded the possession statistics.

As a result, Baxter made his first change on the hour-mark by bringing on Orlando Pirates attacker Thembinkosi Lorch in place of the in-effective Thulani Serero.

The match was tentative 20 minutes before time as the Super Eagles were in no rush to go forward, seemingly holding out for a draw which was enough to see them qualify for the 2019 Afcon.

Kenneth Omeruo had a glorious chance to snatch the winner for the visitors 16 minutes before time with a free header inside the box that sailed agonisingly wide.

Bafana were lucky not to go behind as Musa thought he had got the winner for the Super Eagles seven minutes before time, but the goal was ruled out for offside, although replays suggest he was onside.

Baxter’s men lacked a sense of urgency in the closing minutes of the encounter and the sides ultimately shared the spoils.

Bafana can qualify for next year's Afcon if they avoid defeat in their final encounter away to Libya.

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Here's how they lined up:

Bafana: Khune, Mkhize, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Kekana, Mabunda, Zwane, Serero (Lorch 60'), Mothiba, Tau.

Subs: Keet, Ndlovu, Pule, Madisha, Maela, Mokoena, Lorch.

Nigeria: Nigeria: Ezenwa, Balogun, Ekong, Omeru, Collins, Etebo, Ogu, Iwobi (Idowu 90+2'), Musa (Onyekuru 87'), Kali, Iheanacho (Success 66').

Subs: Akpeyi, Success, Onyekuru, Chukwueze, Ajayi, Agu, Idowu.

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