Nigeria have been dumped out of the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after going down 1-0 to Egypt in Alexandria.
This makes it two consecutive Afcon misses for the Super Eagles and three in the last four events following continental blackouts 2012, and 2015.
The Samson Siasia-led side needed nothing short of a win to go through after being held to a 1-1 draw by the Pharaohs at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, last Friday, but were undone by a 65th minute goal from Ramadan Sobhy.
The Al Ahly midfielder prodded home from 16 yards after a goalmouth scuffle when the Eagles defence failed to clear a Mohamed Salah corner-kick.
It was a fairly open game in Alexandria as both sides played on the front foot, but Hector Cuper’s men carved out the clearer chances with stand-in eagles goalie Daniel Akpeyi pulling off a double-save in the first-half to keep the game scoreless.
But as the game wore out, the hosts made the most of Nigeria’s defensive lapses with Sobhy’s sucker punch, while Victor Moses came closest to getting an equaliser with a shot off the post after 84 minutes.
Siasia threw on Arsenal teenager Alex Iwobi in the dying stages but the harm was already done, and the three-time African Champions will have to wait a little longer before rubbing shoulders with the continent’s finest again.