Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says the Super Eagles did not want to take any risks in their 1-1 draw with South Africa in a Group E 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations (Afcon) qualifier on Saturday.
The draw was enough for Nigeria to qualify for the Cup of Nations after missing out on the last two editions.
South Africa’s Buhle Mkhwanazi put the ball in his own net to give the three-time African champions a 10th-minute advantage.
But the relentless Bafana Bafana equalised in the 26th minute with Lebo Mothiba finishing off an exquisite build-up as the hosts completely made the Nigerian defence defenceless.
With Nigeria’s qualification, second-placed South Africa and third-placed Libya will now fight for the remaining qualification spot in the group.
“We expected a tough match because we knew South Africa is [sic] a very good team. They had not conceded a goal in the qualifiers and the challenge was to score against this very good goalkeeper (Kune Itumeleng) which we did,” Rohr said after the game.
He also said: “We arrived early Friday without sleeping. The second half was tough we scored the first goal and our tactics were okay. They (South Africa) had to come out and it was difficult for them.
“We started very well and got a goal.
“We tried to score the second goal because we played to win all the time, but we didn’t want to take any risk.”