The clash signalled Stuart Baxter’s first back in charge of the South African national team following the sacking of Shakes Mashaba in December, and the 63-year-old opted for the tried and tested ahead of the clash.
The Briton relied on Rantie to lead the line alongside Sibusiso Vilakazi, with Eric Mathoho chosen to partner Thulani Hlatshwayo at the back.
Meanwhile, Bafana were forced to fend off a Nigerian side who were on the rise under their German tactician, Gernot Rohr.
The Super Eagles looked a side full of potential, and Rohr fielded his strongest XI with an attack which included Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho.
In the build-up to the clash, much was said about Bafana’s lack of preparation and it was apparent as Nigeria began the game brightly, giving their defence a lot to think about.
However, Baxter’s men looked content to sit back and soak up the pressure.
Nonetheless, Nigeria had their first shot on goal in the 11th minute. Nigeria’s highly-rated midfielder Wilfred Ndidi showed great enthusiasm to latch onto a loose ball on the edge of the South African box, but his volley went wide of Itumeleng Khune’s goal.
The South Africans were struggling to contain the pacey Nigerian attack, and 22 minutes into the match, the home side had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring.
Oghenekaro Etebo’s made a late surge into the box, which went by undetected by the South African defence, but he failed to test Khune with a shot from close range.
The half time break was quickly approaching and the game was becoming a scrappy affair with both teams guilty of turning over possession far too easily.
Khune would once again have to be alert as he smartly tipped over a Moses Simon attempted cross.
With 41 minutes on the clock, Bafana were almost gifted a goal after South Africa-based Nigerian keeper, Daniel Akpeyi, dropped a Tebogo Langerman cross into the path of Themba Zwane, but the 27-year-old could only watch on as his shot cannoned off the woodwork.