Thursday, June 20, 2024

Nigeria Defeat South Africa To Reach 2023 AFCON Final

Nigeria defeated South Africa 4-2 on penalties to reach the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament. SportsRation reports.

Regulation and extr-time ended 1-1 with both teams converting spot-kicks to go all the way in Boauake.

Nigeria took the lead in the 65th minute when skipper William Troost-Ekong scored from the spot after Victor Osimhen was fouled in the box.

Nigeria started the game as favourites to win the AFCON semi-final in Boauke but found the opening exchanges tight with Bafana Bafana posing a serious threat on the counter-attack.

The best chance of the first half fell to South Africa but goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was alert to push a way a goal-bound effort to keep the Eagles level.

First half ended goalless with Hugo Broos tutored Bafana Bafana the most comfortable with the score.

In the second-half, Nigeria resumed pressure and got due reward when Victor Osimhen powered his way into the penalty area only to be brought down by a South African defender.

William Troost-Ekong took responsibility for the spot-kick and fired past penalty specialist Ronwen Williams, who agonisingly saw the ball pass under his body into the net in the 65th minute.

That goal looked like it was taking the Eagles to the AFCON final until a stoppage time penalty kick was awarded to South Africa following a foulby substitute Alhassan Yusuf. Mokoena beat Nwabali from the spot to send the game to extra-time.

After extra-time failed to produce a goal, the match was taken to penalties with Nigeria’s goalkeeper the hero with two saves to inspire a 4-2 shootout win for the Eagles.

Nigeria will now face the winner of the second semi-final game between tournament hosts, Ivory Coast and Dr Congo in the final on Sunday.

The Eagles are eyeing a fourth Africa Cup of  Nations title.

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