Nigeria’s Super Eagles could not capitalize on home soil as the team were held 1-1 by the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Friday.
Knowing the importance of the match, the three-time champions took the game straight to the Egyptians as they made serious attempts to score an early goal.
Both teams could have opened the floodgates for goals as the Egyptian striker Ahmed Hassan “Kouka” failed to convert a beautiful through pass from Mohammed Salah before Simon Moses ended a glorious chance to put Nigeria ahead in spite of being on the 18 yard line.
However, Nigeria took the lead through Ogenekaro Etobe who pounced on the rebound following Kelechi Iheanacho’s strike that bounced off the woodwork.
The Pharaohs struck in the 92nd minute as Salah brilliantly broke the offside trap before latching onto Ramadan’s delightful through ball to dink the ball over Nigerian goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
The draw means the Super Eagles have a mountain to climb if the team must win an automatic ticket for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Nigeria will travel to Alexandria to face Egypt, March 29, knowing that failure to pick up the maximum points would all but end their dream of participating at the bi-annual tournament.