Nigeria launched a dramatic second-half comeback to finish 2-1 winners over Ethiopia in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
The Super Eagles were rocked by a sustained period of early dominance from the hosts, who made their superiority count on 56 minutes when 'keeper Vincent Enyeama horribly misjudged a Behailu Assefa cross.
However the visitors rallied, with Emmanuel Emenike equalising on 67 minutes before winning and then converting a last-gasp penalty to seal the victory.
Ethiopia will be disappointed to have lost the game, especially considering their encouraging start. From the outset the Walya Antelopes took the game to Nigeria, dominating the initial play.
They forged several good chances - the best of which fell to Saladin Said on 24 minutes. The forward beat Enyeama after controlling well before seeing his shot superbly - if rather fortuitously - blocked on the line by Godfrey Oboabona, much to the dismay of the home supporters.
The breakthrough finally arrived on 59 minutes when Enyeama inexplicably carried Assefa's heavy cross over the line. It was a calamitous error that rocked the away side, sending the majority of the Addis Ababa Stadium into delirium.
In a superb display of character Nigeria responded well, with star man Emenike in particular leading the charge. Just ten minutes after going behind, the Fenerbahçe attacker unleashed a blistering shot from range that Ethiopian stopper Jemal Tassew found too hot to handle.
The match had looked destined to end in a draw, before Emenike's driving run was brought to a sudden end after being hauled down in the box by Aynalem Hailu. Emenike dusted himself down to coolly slot home the resulting penalty into the right-hand corner, leaving Tassew helpless.
The dramatic last-gasp finish ensured the visitors took the spoils in a competitive clash that was ultimately decided by the quality and determination of Emenike.
The Super Eagles take the narrow lead into next month's second leg in Calabar and are now favourites to book their place in Brazil.
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