South Africa produced a wonderful second-half performance to stun hosts Nigeria winning 0-2 in a 2019 AFCON qualifier played at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium.
Second half goals by Tokelo Rantie and substitute Percy Tau proved to be decisive as the Bafana Bafana stunned the Nigerians in their own home ground.
The Super Eagles got their first sight at goal through Wilfred Ndidi whose volley inside the eighteen-yard box went wide off the post.
The men in Green found it difficult to breakdown the Rainbow nation but winger Moses Simon looked the liveliest down the wings for the Super Eagles with his incisive runs down the wings. The Gent of Belgium player dribbled his way down the left hand side of the pitch before sending in a cross that was tipped over by Itumeleng Khune in the 38th minute.
Bafana Bafana almost took the lead late in the first-half when goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi dropped a cross into the part of Themba Zwane whose shot came off the right hand post.
South Africa took the lead in the 54th minute much to the surprise of the hosts through Ramahlwe Mphalele’s right wing cross which was headed home by Tokelo Rantie to open the scores.
Bafana Bafana missed the chance to increase the lead for the visitors when Zwane Themba’s shot struck the left hand post much to the chagrin of the midfielder.
Nigeria were unlucky not to get the equaliser after a scramble in the box led to Eric Mathoho clearing the ball off the line to keep his side in the lead.
Substitute Percy Tau sealed the three points for South Africa in the 81st minute with only his second touch of the ball, his first was to take the ball past Akpeyi and his second was to slot the ball into an unguarded net to make the scores 0-2 and send the visitors top of the group.
Nigeria Line-up: 1. Daniel Akpeyi; 12. Abdullahi Shehu, 5. William Troost-Ekong, 2. Chidozie Awaziem, 3. Elderson Echiejile; 6. Ndidi Wilfred, 17.Ogenyi Onazi, 10. Oghenekaro Etebo; 18. Iwobi Alex (Ahmed Musa 59’), 15. Moses Simon (Victor Osimhen 85’), 14. Kelechi Iheanacho (Kayode Olarenwaju 71’).
Unused subs: 16. Ikechukwu Ezenwa, 4. Kenneth Omeruo, 13. Tyrone Ebuehi, 8. Mikel Agu,.
South Africa Line-up: 16. Itumeleng Khune; 2. Tebogo Langerman, 3. Erick Mathoho, 5. Dean Furman, 6. Ramahlwe Mphahlele, 7. Keagan Dolly (Samuel Mabunda 84’), 8. Bongani Zungu, 10. Subisiso Vilakazi (Lebogang Manyama 65), 11. Themba Zwane, 14. Thulani Hlatshwayo, 17. Tokelo Rantie (Percy Tau 80’).
Unused Subs: 1. Darren Keet, 15. Jali Andileernest, 13, 20. Lorenzo Gordinho, 24. Abbubaker Mobara.