Police were forced to use tear gas to diffuse violent clashes with supporters after angry Nigeria fans stormed the pitch following a 1-1 draw with Ghana.
A packed out Abuja National Stadium in Nigeria quickly turned sour when the final whistle and it was confirmed that Ghana had progressed on away goals, ending Nigeria’s hopes of reaching the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Fans flooded onto the pitch and the surrounding pitchside areas to show their annoyance at a failed qualification campaign.
Those supporters who stayed in the stands watched in disbelief as dugouts were ripped from the ground and various items were launched at players from both sides as they tried to race down the tunnel to take refuge in the dressing rooms.
Social media soon showed clips of advertising boards being defaced and clashes between supporters and police as officials looked to quell the growing numbers of pitch invaders.
Police were forced to fire tear gas out onto the pitch in a bid to take control of the ugly scenes in Abuja.
William Troost-Ekong drew Nigeria level from the penalty spot but the away goals rule meant that Nigeria needed to go and win the game once Partey scored, something they failed to do.
Ghana missed out on the last World Cup in Russia and so this acts as redemption for them.
Ghana will be joined by Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia and Cameroon as Africa’s representatives in Qatar.
‘I’m really delighted, exhausted,’ Ghana boss Otto Addo said after the game.
According to him, ‘It was a tough match, but we fight our way through. We had some problems in the first half but we did some changes, the players adapted very well.
‘We were lucky, I feel pity for Nigeria, but that is football. I really want to thank God for getting us through to the World Cup.
‘Happy birthday to the president of Ghana and also thank you to Kurt Okraku for giving me this opportunity.’
Pressure will now intensity on Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen following missing out on the World Cup.
Prior to the match Eguavoen was adamant that he is not a man under pressure but he has suffered elimination in the last-16 of the Africa Cup of Nations and missed out on a World Cup in a matter of months.
Elsewhere, there was a case of deja vu for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as they suffered yet another penalty shootout to Senegal to miss out on qualification.
Earlier this year Egypt suffered shootout heartache to Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final and this time round there was controversy with lasers appearing to blind Egypt’s penalty takers.
Morocco made light work of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a 5-2 win over two legs and Tunisia ensured their first leg 1-0 win over Mali was enough as they ground out a 0-0 on Tuesday to progress.
Algeria and Cameroon were forced into extra-time as they couldn’t be separated over 180 minutes.
That tie was sealed in the final seconds when Karl Toko Ekambi struck in the 124th minute to stun Algeria and fire Cameroon through.