Nigeria vs South Africa: Super Eagles robbed by refereeing error as Bafana Bafana get valuable draw

Teboho Mokoena and Fisayo Dele Bashiru | iDiski Times on X

Nigeria vs South Africa: Super Eagles robbed by refereeing error as Bafana Bafana get valuable draw

Ayoola Kelechi 22:15 - 07.06.2024

The Super Eagles were held at home by a dogged South Africa side and remain winless in World Cup qualifying

Nigeria’s Super Eagles were made to rue missed chances and a crucial refereeing error as they remained winless in Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier after a 1-1 draw against South Africa.

The Super Eagles were saved from a first defeat by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who equalised for Nigeria after South Africa took the lead through Themba Zwane. Nigeria will also feel they could have had more than a point after being denied a clear penalty when Dele-Bashiru was fouled in the penalty box, only to see appeals for a spot-kick denied by referee Alhadi Allaou Mahamat.

How it happened

Nigeria started the match on the front foot, forcing the Bafana Bafana to defend deep in their own area as the hosts piled on early pressure.

Despite the fine start from the Super Eagles, South Africa came closest to scoring as a freekick from Teboho Mokoena cracked the crossbar with Stanley Nwabali stranded in goal.

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Bafana Bafana eventually took the lead after Themba Zwane ghosted through the Nigerian defence to slot the ball past a hapless Nwabali.

The visitors had another big chance to double their lead 10 minutes before the break when Khuliso Mudau was played through on goal, but a combination of Nwabali and Benjamin Tanimu spared the Super Eagles blushes to keep the score at 1-0.

Nigeria’s best chance of the half fell to Paul Onuachu who met Ademola Lookman’s cross with a tame header that was easily gathered by Ronwen Williams.

The Super Eagles were quick to respond after the break as Fisayo Dele-Bashiru scored his first international goal to draw Nigeria level with an effort from the edge of the penalty box.

Dele-Bashiru was involved in another incident moments later as he was hacked down in the penalty box by a South African defender, but pleas for a penalty by the Nigerian players and the crowd fell on deaf ears.

In an open encounter that followed Nigeria’s equaliser, both teams traded chances to take the lead with South Africa’s Percy Tau fluffing his lines with only Nwabali to beat, while Nigerian substitute Samuel Chukwueze hit the crossbar with his first shot on target.

Nigeria had the best chance to take all three points when Terem Moffi was played through on goal, but failed in his attempt to dribble the South African goalkeeper.

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