The Super Eagles produced a more assured outing against South Africa on Sunday than they did against Uganda in Uyo four days earlier as they were held 1-1 by the hosts in an international friendly played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
Captain Ahmed Musa’s scorcher seemed to have given the Nigerians the win but a stoppage time goal from Bongani Zungu ensured the spoils were shared between both teams.
Eagles assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi, who insisted that coach Stephen Keshi and not him pick the players for the double friendly games, after the lacklustre defeat to Uganda, started China-based striker Aaron Samuel, 19-year-old Gent forward Moses Simon and Enyimba midfielder Kingsley Sokari, who was an unused substitute against the Cranes.
Warri Wolves goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was also picked ahead of Kano Pillars’ Theophilus Afelokhai after first choice Vincent Enyeama pulled out due to injury.
The hosts dominated most of the game, looking for a first win against the visitors in 11 years, but as in most of their previous encounters against the Eagles, they failed to get a much-desired victory.
CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa seemed to have taken the game beyond the host when he scored a classy goal in the 85th minute of the encounter, very much like his first goal against Argentina at the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil.
Commenting on the outcome of the game, care-taker coach, Daniel Amokachi admitted that the result was fair, but frowned at the way his wards allowed the South Africans to grab a last-minute equaliser.
“I think it’s a fair result, but when you’re 1-0 up and you concede in the last minute, it’s never good,” he said.
Amokachi has been in charge of the national team in the last two games, following the absence of head coach Stephen Keshi who is still in a contract dispute with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
It would be recalled that the South Africans stopped the Eagles from defending their title in Equatorial Guinea this year after they held the Nigerian team to a 2-2 draw at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo, last year.