Nigeria miss out on Africa Cup of Nations

Holders draw last qualifying match against already-through South Africa and fail to qualify for the main event.

    Nigeria finished third in their group [Getty Images]
    Nigeria finished third in their group [Getty Images]

    Holders Nigeria were bundled out of the African Nations Cup qualifiers after being held to a 2-2 home draw by South Africa and missing out on a top two place in Group A.

    Striker Tokelo Rantie scored twice for South Africa who let a two-goal lead slip and were denied a first ever win in Nigeria by a late leveller.

    AFCON 2015

    Qualified:

    Ghana
    Ivory Coast
    Cameroon
    Algeria
    Mali
    Cape Verde Islands
    South Africa
    Congo
    Tunisia
    Zambia
    Burkina Faso
    Gabon
    Guinea
    Senegal 
    Equatorial Guinea

    The pacey 24-year-old opened the scoring two minutes before halftime with an excellent run and finish past home goal-keeper Vincent Enyeama.

    Rantie netted his second three minutes after the break when his hustling forced a defensive mistake and he easily rounded Enyeama to fire into an empty net.

    Nigeria pulled a goal back with 22 minutes remaining as Ikechukwu Uche's shot hit the post and rebounded into the path of substitute Sone Aluko.

    South Africa were reduced to 10 men on 71 minutes when midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane received a second yellow card and Aluko set up a tense finish with his second from 25 metres in injury time.

    Elsewhere, Ghana's Mubarak Wakaso scored with a fantastic long-range strike as they booked their place at the finals with a 3-1 victory over Togo.

    Ghana top Group E with 11 points and will be joined at the finals by Guinea, whose 2-0 win over Uganda in neutral Morocco saw them finish runners-up in the section.

    Ivory Coast also qualified for the African Nations Cup after a tepid 0-0 draw with 10-man Cameroon, who had Stephane Mbia sent off just before the hour in Abidjan.

    Cameroon had made the event as Group D winners and showed little sense of adventure in a game that ended in farcical circumstances with the Ivorians passing the ball around in defence and the visitors showing no desire to win possession.

    Results:

    Ivory Coast 0-0 Cameroon
    DR Congo 3-1 Sierra Leone
    Ethiopia 0-0 Malawi
    Mali 2-0 Algeria
    Ghana 3-1 Togo
    Guinea 2-0 Uganda
    Niger 1-1 Mozambique
    Zambia 1-0 Cape Verde
    Nigeria 2-2 South Africa
    Sudan 0-1 Congo
    Burkina Faso 1-1 Angola
    Gabon 4-2 Lesotho

    SOURCE: Reuters


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