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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 17:34 UK

South Africa crash out

The 2010 World Cup logo
World Cup hosts South Africa will not play at the Nations Cup

South Africa fell 1-0 to Nigeria on Saturday and lost all hope of playing in the Cup of Nations five months before hosting the 2010 World Cup.

Ikechukwu Uche snatched the 70th-minute winner in Port Elizabeth on Saturday that maintained the Super Eagles 100 per cent record in Group Four of the qualifiers.

Uche turned past two defenders to drive home for the only goal of the game completely dominated by the home team.

As hosts, South Africa have automatically qualified for the World Cup finals but were taking part in the preliminaries because they also serve to determine the 16 finalists for the African Nations Cup finals.

While Nigeria, playing without several key players, converted their only real chance of the game, South Africa squandered a myriad of opportunities in front of goal.

They were thwarted by off-target shooting and also some fine saves by Nigeria goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba.

Midfielder Kagiso Dikgacoi peppered the Nigeria goal with shots while Siyabonga Nkosi and Benni McCarthy both went narrowly wide with second-half efforts.

The result ends Bafana Bafana's chances of qualifying for the tournanment in Angola, a major embarrassment for the hosts of the 2010 World Cup.

South Africa were hoping for an Equatorial Guinea victory over Sierra Leone in Saturday's other game to keep alive their faint hopes of advancing.

But the Leone Stars climbed above Bafana Bafana into second spot after defeating the visitors 2-1 in Freetown, crashing the dreams of South Africa.

Goals from Kewullay Conteh and Sheriff Suma helped the West African country to the victory.

Juvenal Edjogo scored a stoppage-time consolation goal for the visitors who were suffering a fourth consecutive loss after launching their campaign with a home victory over the Leone Stars three months ago.

see also
Nigeria beat South Africa
01 Jun 08 |  African
SA back on track, Nigeria win
07 Jun 08 |  African
Shock results grip qualifying
15 Jun 08 |  African
Super Eagles advance, SA held
21 Jun 08 |  African
2010 World Cup Qualifiers
27 Mar 08 |  African

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