The Super Eagles of Nigeria will miss the 2017 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing by a lone goal to the Pharaohs of Egypt on Monday in Alexandria.
Although, it was 0-0 at half time, the Egyptians always looked more likely to win the match having rattled the Nigerian defence on many occasions in the first half.
The Nigerians were limited to short passes, unable to convert their possession into attempts on goal.
The second half saw the Pharaohs maintaining the momentum and finally got their goal in the 65th minute.
Ramadan Sobhy shot towards the Nigerian goal and the ball rolled under goalkeeper Akpeyi’s arm thinking his defence line would clear it.
The Eagles’ introduction of Alex Iwobi failed to produce the spark seen in the reverse leg in Kaduna and the Egyptians saw out the match to seal their qualification for the AFCON.
The Eagles went into the Alexandria game in dire need of a win to give them a boost for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ticket but the resilient Pharaohs ensured that the 3-time champions miss out for the second consecutive edition.
Nigeria’s chances became slimmer following Chad’s withdrawal from the AFCON qualifiers, as Egypt topped the group, leading Nigeria with two points and Tanzania on one point.
The win has now created an insurmountable 5-point lead for Egypt as only the match against Tanzania is left to play.