The Super Eagles of Nigeria conceded a late goal against the Pharaohs of Egypt to draw their AFCON qualifier 1-1 in Kaduna.
With the draw, the Eagles failed to boost their chances of featuring at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Gabon.
The first half of the AFCON qualifier, which was played before a massive crowd of supporters inside the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, had ended goalless with Nigeria taking a while to settle in the game.
Samson Siasia’s men eventually became dominant, but lost key battles in the midfield, giving the Egyptians some confidence.
The second half started with the Super Eagles maintaining the pressure as they needed an outright win to overtake Egypt who led the qualifying group by two points.
Minutes after goalkeeper Carl Ikeme rescued Captain Mikel Obi from scoring an own goal, Nigeria got the lead.
Oghenekaro Etebo gave Nigeria the hard-fought lead in the 59th minute, tucking in a rebound from Kelechi Iheanacho that rattled the cross bar.
Egypt’s El-Shenawy produced the masterclass defending in the 81st minute with a touchline clearance from second half substitute, Victor Moses’ well taken attempt at goal off a layoff from another substitute, Alex Iwobi.
The introduction of Moses and Iwobi seemed a perfect one sure to secure the match for the Eagles but it was heartbreak for Nigerians as Mohammed Salah leveled for Egypt after a moment of poor defending by Nigeria in the 90th minute.
The Eagles travel to Egypt in few days for the return leg.