The Falcons of Jediane, fuelled by a deafening atmosphere inside Khartoum Stadium, brought down the African champions down to their knees with a commanding display
Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations became slimmer as they lost 1-0 to Sudan in Saturday’s Afcon qualifier played in Khartoum.
A ferocious header by striker Bakri Abd Elgadir in the closing stages of the first half which left Enyeama no chance ensured the hosts got the better of the African Champions who put every foot wrong in the encounter.
Stephen Keshi’s men took the game to their opponents in the early stages of the game as they launched attacked the Sudanese in their numbers which lead to their first corner kick of the encounter which was won by Ahmed Musa off Elhag.
However, the resulting kick could not threaten the hosts’ goalkeeper as it was cleared by the dogged Sudanese defence line up.
Nigeria’s best chance of the encounter came in the 10th minute as Igiebor’s effort rattled the cross bar after receiving a low pass from Emmanuel Emenike.
Few minutes later, the African champions failed to make their dominance count as goalkeeper Mahgoub was at his best to stop Emenike who profited from the Falcons’ poor defensive network. Not many would believe a striker in the mould of the Fernabache man would bungle away such a wonderful opportunity.
Sudan began to grow in confidence as they organized their midfield to threaten the Eagles’ backline. ker Elgadir’s shot in the 27th minute could have been the curtain raiser but Omeruo was well placed to clear the ball out of play.
As the game progressed, the Eagles’ frontline took their turn to miss glaring chances that could have put them at least three goals ahead going into the halftime break.
With less than four minutes to the end of the first half, Elgadir rose above the Nigeria defence line to thunder home a power header that clearly beat Enyeama who watched helplessly in goal for Stephen Keshi’s men.
On resumption of the second half, the hosts tried to doubled their lead as danger man Elgadir gave the Eagles’ defence sleepless moment – in the process got Efe a needless caution while trying to curtail the excesses of the Sudanese forward.
Even with the introduction of Emmanuel Chukwuemeka for Gbolahan Salami and Raheem Lawal for Efe Ambrose, Nigeria failed to get the cutting edge as they looked disgruntled in terms of team work and tactical ability.
Going by this lose, the reigning African champions are now placed at the base of the table with a point from three matches while South Africa that earlier in the day got past Congo 2-0 away from home are ranked first with seven points from the same number of matches.