There was late drama at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium as Nigeria converted two penalties in the last ten minutes to secure their place in the quarters.
Nigeria were in the ascendancy for the majority of proceedings as they sought to differentiate themselves from Zambia, as the two stood level on points at the start of the day.
Victor Moses stepped up to the plate for the Super Eagles, as he won and converted two penalties in the dying embers of the match.
Nigeria looked to dominate proceeding right from the off, seeking a win to ensure them of a place in the next round.
It took all of five minutes for Moses to get a shot on goal from a set-piece to no avail. It was the same for the most of the match, as the Super Eagles got chance after chance to take the lead.
Ethiopia weren't totally out of the match, but they were limited to shots from distance and hopeful long-balls forward.
It wasn't until the 80th minute that Nigeria got the breakthrough they so sorely wanted. Victor Moses dribbled past Alula Girma into the box, only for the defender to bring him down.
The Chelsea winger stepped up to take the spot-kick, and subsequently sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and rolled the ball into the net.
Five minutes later the referee awarded another penalty for a foul on Moses, as goalkeeper Sisay Bancha took his legs from under him.
The Ethiopia stopper was rather unlucky to have received a booking two minutes prior to the incident and received his marching orders for a second caution.
Unfortunately for the Walya Antelopes, they had used all three substitutions and had to put Addis Hintsa in goal for the remainder of the match. When the midfielder had finally changed the 23 goalkeeper's jersey into a makeshift number 21 jersey, he took his place to face the penalty.
Moses converted again in a similar manner and booked a quarter-final meeting with the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Sunday.