Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the CAF play-offs round of the 2014 World Cup needed an 83rd minute redemption from the most unlikely candidate in the match played on the artificial turf of the Sam Nujoma Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia.
The African champions managed to secure a point after the Brave Warriors had surprisingly taken the lead in the 77th minute through Deon Kavendji. Kenya and Malawi had played a 2-2 draw earlier on Wednesday and the Super Eagles would have ensured their safe passage with a win against the 125th team in the FIFA ranking.
Kavandji was on hand to sumptuously volley the ball past the stranded Vincent Enyeama, into the bottom-left corner after the Nigerians failed to prove a salient point in front of the host’s goal.
With the World Cup qualification in doubt, Nigeria needed to salvage the situation. With seven minutes remaining they came up with the scheme Virgil Vries, in the home goal couldn’t stop.
Center-back Godfrey Obaobona stepped up to take a free-kick from the edge of the box and shot straight into the back of the net.
Though they tried to consolidate their efforts with a second goal which wasn’t forthcoming, they did manage to secure a 1-1 draw and remain favourite to qualify top of Group F.
A draw against Malawi in Abuja will now guarantee Nigeria’s passage to the play-off which determines Africa’s five for the World Cup.