ADDIS ABABA - A late Joseph Yobo header allowed Nigeria to salvage a 2-2 draw with minnows Ethiopia on Sunday, a result that could cost them a place in the next African Nations Cup finals.
Nigeria arrived in Addis Ababa on the back of a 4-1 win against Argentina in a friendly international last week, though that result is being investigated by FIFA on suspicion of match-fixing, and looked odds-on for another victory after taking the lead mid-way through the first half from Ike Uche.
But Ethiopia's Saladin Said scored twice in quick succession to give the Walya Antelopes a surprise lead.
Nigeria skipper Yobo snatched a vital point with just four minutes remaining after he pounced on some slack defending to head home an equaliser.
The result leaves Nigeria three points behind Group B leaders Guinea, who beat bottom side Madagascar 4-1 on Sunday.
Nigeria's coach Samson Siasia blamed the Ethiopian capital's high altitude and fatigue for his side's uninspired performance.
"The altitude was a big problem and fatigue as well, we didn't rest that well," he told Reuters after the match.
"The journey was too much for us, it was seven hours."
FA officials in Lagos have been criticised at home for not preparing well for the tie as the team arrived in Addis Ababa just hours before kick-off time.