South Africa on Saturday recorded a massive 2-0 away win against Nigeria in their Group E opening fixture of the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2019 qualifier at the Uyo international Stadium.
Two goals in the second half by Tokelo Rantie and substitute Percy Tau gave Bafana Bafana their first victory over the Super Eagles after 13 encounters; and the result handed the South Africans the second spot in Group E behind Libya who jumped into the lead following their 5-1 win over Seychelles in an earlier fixture on Friday in Cairo.
The match in Uyo started with a frenzy with Nigeria doing much of the pressing but the visitors could have taken the lead towards the end of the first half when Themba Zwane saw his shot rebound off the goal post.
On resumption, South Africa grew with confidence and Rantie got the opener in the 54th minute when he headed home a cross from Rama Mahalalele past goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi after the Nigerian defence had been caught napping.
Nigeria pressed for the equalizer but they nearly conceded another goal as the game dragged towards the end after Zwane yet again saw his shot hit the post.
On the other end, Oghanekaro Etebo fired over the post as the Super Eagles continued in search of the equalizer.
Moments later, it was the visitors who doubled their lead in the 80th minute through Tau, who rounded up Akpeyi off a through ball by Keegan Dolly much to the surprise of the home crowd; as the Super Eagles recorded their first loss under new coach Gernot Rohr since his appointment last year.
Nigeria has yet to qualify for the continental showpiece since they won their third title in South Africa in 2013, and will have to pull their chestnut from the fire to make the party yet again in 2019 in Cameroon.
The next round of matches is due in March 2018 when South Africa host Libya and Nigeria travel to Seychelles.
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