However, the Super Eagles survived a late scare as Bafana Bafana bombarded their goal area late in the second half and at the end of the day, the goalless draw was somehow a fair reflection of the game.
It was a gallant performance by Shakes Mashaba’s young guns, who stunned Sudan 3-0 in Khartoum last Friday.
South Africa had the first best chance in the 7th minute but Bongani “Drogba” Ndulula’s effort was blocked inside the box. Oupa Manyisa then weaved his way through the Nigerian defence but was blocked when he was about to shoot.
From a corner soon after that, Bafana again came close by goalkeeper Ejide Austine came to the rescue. Nigeria’s first real attempt arrived in the 36th minute but Ahmed Musa blasted over the bar from a good situation.
Meyiwa then made a great save from corner as Bafana quickly replied. Tokelo Rantie was introduced in the second half for Ndulula as Bafana went in search of goals.
It became a war of attrition in the second half as both teams hardly created clear cut chances.
Rantie then broke clear but his venomous shot hit the side-netting as the match swung from one end to the other.
South Africa are not second in Group A with four points behind leaders Congo, who moved to the summit with a 2-0 win over Sudan. Nigeria are third with one point and Sudan bottom.
SA starting line-up: Senzo Meyiwa, Thulane Hlatshwayo, Thabo Matlaba, Eric Mathoho, Anele Ngcongca, Dean Furman, Andile Jali, Mandla Masango, Bongane Ndulula, Oupa Manyisa, Sibusiso Vilakazi
Subs: Darren Keet, Sibusiso Khumalo, Rivaldo Coetzee, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Tokelo Rantie, Keagan Dolly, Thema Zwane
Nigeria: Ejide Austine, Onazi Ogenyi, Salami Gbolahan, Obi Mikel, Emenike Emmanuel, Igiebor Nosa, Ahmed Musa, Efe Ambrose, Omerup Kenneth, Echiejile Elderson, Oboabona Godfrey.