Ten-man Super Eagles felt the mission was fait accompli, but their neighbours from West Africa Burkina Faso snatched a late equalizer on the dot of 94 minutes to ensure that the second match in Group C ended in a draw.
Earlier on in the day, defending Champions, Zambia also played 1-1 with 10 men Ethiopia.
Winners in 1980 on home soil and in 1994 in Tunisia, Nigeria took the lead in the 23rd minutes after Emmanuel Emenike latched onto Ideye Brown’s flick.
There quest to score more goals only resulted in missed opportunities, for which they would pay dearly for.
The high point of the game was the 75th minute dismissal of right-back, Efe Ambrose who picked up a second yellow for impeding Bance, he had earlier in the first half pulled back Pitropia, an act which earned him a caution card.
The loss of a man was a plus for Burkina Faso who brought in Alain Traore who finally struck the dagger which rattled the net and the heart of the Eagles and its fans.
The reigning champions took a first-half lead after Ethiopia’s goalkeeper was shown a straight red for a high challenge.
However, Ethiopia continued their attacking style throughout, finding an equalizer midway through the second half.
Ethiopia is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations once again after a 21 year absence.