The Super Eagles of Nigeria, on Saturday, November 17, 2018, qualified for the Africa cup of Nations after playing a one-one (1) goal draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
However, South Africa will also qualify if they record a draw or win against Libya away in March 2019. The draw 1-1 sees Nigeria book their place in the 2019 Afcon finals which will be hosted by Cameroon.
The tough contest took place at the at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
The Eagles grabbed the lead 10 minutes after kick-off when South Africa’s Buhle Mkhwanazi scored an own goal.
Lebo Mothiba, however, levelled the score for Bafana Bafana after 16 minutes.
Nigeria later tried to get the lead once again with Captain Ahmed Musa’s attempt, but the referee disallowed the goal.
After the restart, the Eagles made another attempt and it was also disallowed by the referee.
At the end of the match, Nigeria top Group E with 10 points.
The victory earned them an automatic ticket for next year’s tournament scheduled to take place between June and July in Cameroon.
Ahead of Saturday’s match, Captain Musa and 21 other players took part in the training held on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Those at training included goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Theophilus Afelokhai and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Adeleye Aniyikaye, Semi Ajayi, Bryan Idowu, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, and Jamilu Collins.
The midfielders were Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, and Mikel Agu, while the forwards are Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success, and Samuel Chukwueze.
France–based forward Samuel Kalu later joined the squad the following day.
On Wednesday, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, visited the Eagles during training to encourage the players.
The governor had promised to reward the players with the sum of $25,000 for every goal scored in the qualifying match against South Africa.
In his response, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Pinnick Amaju, thanked the governor for making the stadium available for the players to train.
He had also described the team as the “most disciplined, young and promising who are in the home of sports, Delta State.”