Nigeria edge World Cup hosts South Africa

Published on Saturday 6th September 2008

Port Elizabeth: Ike Uche snatched a 70th-minute winner to hand Nigeria a 1-0 win over South Africa in their World Cup qualifier in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The result all but ends South Africa's chances of qualifying for the 2010 African Nations Cup finals in Angola, a major embarrassment for the hosts of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Uche turned past two defenders to drive home for the only goal of an African zone Group Four game completely dominated by the home team.

The result kept up Nigeria's 100 percent run in the group, having already ensured top spot at the end of June.

As hosts, South Africa have automatically qualified for the World Cup finals but were taking part in the preliminaries because they also serve to determine the 16 finalists for the African Nations Cup finals.

While Nigeria, playing without several key players, converted their only real chance of the game, South Africa squandered a myriad of opportunities in front of goal.

They were thwarted by off-target shooting and also some fine saves by Nigeria goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba.

Midfielder Kagiso Dikgacoi peppered the Nigeria goal with shots while Siyabonga Nkosi and Benni McCarthy both went narrowly wide with second-half efforts.

"Football matches aren't decided on ball possession. South Africa were expected to come at us with home advantage and the fans behind them, but we were resolute," said Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu.


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