Nigeria’s search for a first win in the final qualifying group for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) failed to yield result in Sudan on Saturday.
Bakri Abdulqadir’s strike four minutes after the interval helped Sudan leapfrog the African champions to third after the first three rounds of matches.
South Africa now top Group A with 7 points after a morale-boosting 2-0 win in Congo earlier in the day.
Nigeria host Sudan in four days’ time and will now have to win all remaining three matches to stand a chance of defending the Afcon title it won in South Arica last year.
Nigeria have now lost five of their last 11 games and drawn the same number with just a win. They have now failed to score in back-to-back games for the first time since 2011; goalless friendly draws against Ghana and Botswana in October and November- the former; Samson Siasia’s final game in charge and the latter coach Stephen Keshi’s first game in charge respectively.
It all looked bleak for the three-time African champions on the artificial pitch at the capacity Khartoum Stadium, as they struggled for composure and cohesion, surrendering possession easily and making wrong decisions again in the final third.
Nosa Igiebor had the first main opportunity to open scores on 11 minutes but his shot crashed against the base of the post.
Sudan looked to have mastered their pitch better, weaving short passes across its nook and crannies while Bakri was busy tormenting Efe Ambrose at right-back.
Emmanuel Emenike was prevented from getting his first Super Eagles goal since scoring a brace in Addis Ababa last year by Sudan goalkeeper and captain Moez Mahjoub few minutes into the second-half.
Bakri then emphatically headed from inside of box past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama few minutes to the hour mark.
John Obi Mikel thought he had drawn Nigeria level three minutes from full time but his effort was ruled for offside as the Eagles ended another disappointing night rock-bottom of the group standing.
Saturday’s Afcon qualifiers
Malawi 0-2 Algeria
Uganda 0-1 Togo
Ethiopia 0-2 Mali
Mozambique 2-0 Cape Verde
S Leone 0-0 Cameroon
Congo 0-2 South Africa
DR Congo 1-2 Ivory Coast
Niger 0-0 Zambia
Sudan 1-0 Nigeria
Gabon 2-0 B Faso