Taking on the lowest-ranked side in the group on their own patch, Nigeria were firm favourites to make it nine points from a possible nine on Thursday as they took on the Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
To the dismay of expectant home support, Gernot Rohr’s men failed to convert large spells of dominance into goals and ultimately paid the price in the 91st minute when Karl Namnganda struck late to hand his side all three points.
However, the Super Eagles remain top of Group C but have missed out on an opportunity to open up a five-point gap midway through the qualifiers.
With little or no time to dwell on that demoralising defeat, the West Africans now set out to exact revenge following a first defeat on home soil since 2017.
Les Fauves sit just two points behind Nigeria, meaning that they would leapfrog this weekend’s opponents into top spot should they manage to come out on top.
Central African Republic: Samola; Yangao, Guinari, Ndobe, Niamathe, Ngam-Ngam; Namnganda, Ban, Toropite, Ndokomandji; M’Vondo
Nigeria: Okoye; Collins, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Aina; Onyeka, Aribo, Ejuke, Kalu; Iheanacho, Osimhen
Kick off is at 2pm Nigeria time.