Defending African champions Nigeria have failed to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations following a dramatic 2-2 draw against South Africa on Wednesday in Uyo.
Having returned to contention for qualification with a hard-fought win at Congo last weekend, Nigeria came from two goals down to earn a last gasp 2-2 draw against Bafana Bafana.
But with Congo winning 1-0 in the other Group A qualifying match played on Wednesday, the Super Eagles have finished third with eight points while Congo, with 10 points, have qualified for next year’s competition in Equatotial Guinea.
Tokelo Rantie scored a goal either side of half-time to put South Africa 2-0 up but substitute Sone Aluko pulled one back for Nigeria in the 68th minute before equalising deep in stoppage time.
DR Congo meanwhile look set to pick the last qualifying spot to AFCON 2015 as best third placed nation in qualifying with nine points courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Sierra Leone in a Group D encounter also on Wednesday.
The Congolese must however hope Egypt fail to win by more than a goal in a Group G qualifying match at Tunisia later on Wednesday, with the Egyptians currently in third place with six points, behind already qualified Senegal (11 points) and Tunisia (10 points).
Elsewhere, Mali claimed a 2-0 win at home to already qualified Algeria to finish second in Group B with nine points and reach AFCON 2015 ahead of Malawi that started the day in second place but was held to a goalless draw by Ethiopia in Addis-Ababa.