Tokelo Rantie scored a brace as South Africa lost a two-goal advantage but still eliminated Nigeria from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after a 2-2 draw in Uyo on Tuesday. The visitors looked good on the ball in the opening minutes linking up with each other really well as their opponents were looking slightly desperate in defence. However the Super Eagles found some composure and had a great chance early on through Ahmed Musa, who found himself one-on-one with Darren Keet but the South African shot stopper stood firm to deny him.
Bafana Bafana created a few chances of their own and eventually got the breakthrough as Rantie brushed aside the Nigerian defence and struck one firmly into the top corner as they took the lead minutes before half-time. After the break Rantie doubled his side’s lead when he dispossessed a Super Eagles defender and buried his shot past Vincent Enyeama.
The hosts didn’t look threatening on attack as their opponents stood strong at the back. They however managed to string together an attack and got one back through Omatsone Aluko who converted the rebound off Kalu Uche’s initial shot to make it 2-1. The visitors were reduced to ten men when Reneilwe Letsholonyane received a second yellow.
The home side looked to take advantage of this and continued to pile pressure on the South African defence including an attempt from John Obi Mikel from distance which was effortlessly saved by Keet. They were rewarded in added time as Aluko scored his second of the night to equalise however it was too little, too late as they were unable to qualify for next year’s tournament in Equatorial Guinea because Congo defeated Sudan 1-0.