Congo Brazzaville produced a shock victory in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, beating Nigeria 3-2 in their Group A match in Calabar.
The Super Eagles fell apart in quite extraordinary fashion in Calabar – a reflection perhaps of the chaos engulfing Nigerian football at the moment.
Nigeria, the reigning African champions, took the lead against Congo after 13 minutes when Efe Ambrose’s header managed to find a way past Congo goalkeeper Massa Chansel.
But the lead did not last long as Prince Oniangue took advantage of some slack marking and equalised for the Red Devils two minutes later.
As Nigeria struggled to find drive and creativity, disaster struck.
Just moments after goalkeeper Austin Ejide had done well to keep out a superb free kick by Francis Nganga, the visitors went in front on 40 minutes when Thievy
Bifouma finished off a fine move.
Bifouma struck again in the 53rd minute when he converted a penalty awarded when he was fouled by Ogenyi Onazi inside the box.
Gbolahan Salami then gave the home side a glimmer of hope when he reduced the arrears with less than five remaining.
But the Congolese held on to their one goal lead.
Nigeria captain Austin Ejide admitted they lost to a better side.
“They dominated and deservedly won. We underrated them and paid dearly. They were more aggressive and played like the home side here. A poor performance on our part.”
As for Congo’s Thievy Bifouma, who netted two goals for his country, he was proud of their performance.
“We worked hard. We knew we were facing a big side in Africa and we played our own game and we are proud of ourselves. We need to focus on Sudan on Wednesday now.”