In a nervy semi-final clash on Wednesday night, Nigeria narrowly outshined South Africa to qualify for the AFCON finals.
This outcome came after a tense penalty shootout at Stade Bouaké.
A momentary setback for Nigeria occurred when Osimen’s goal, intended to secure a 2-0 victory, was disallowed due to a foul six minutes prior, resulting in a penalty for Bafana Bafana.
Seizing the opportunity, South Africa’s Teboho Mokoena converted the penalty into an equalizing goal, leveling the score at 1-1 and pushing the game into extra time.
The Super Eagles took an early lead with a penalty in the 63rd minute, expertly converted by Trust Ekong, giving them a 1-0 advantage.
Both teams launched powerful shots on target during the first half of extra time, with the goalkeepers showcasing their prowess in saving attempts.
With Nigeria in the lead, South Africa were poised for the third-place playoff against either Ivory Coast or DRC.
The first half ended with no additional goals, as both sides recorded four shots, with Nigeria landing two shots on target and South Africa managing three.
As the game progressed, Nigeria asserted dominance in the second half, while South Africa capitalized on their opportunities in the first.
Nigeria boasts a remarkable record as three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions, contrasting with South Africa’s sole victory in 1996.
Meanwhile, in another AFCON match, Ivory Coast secured a 1-0 victory over DR Congo at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe, setting the stage for a final showdown between the two victorious teams.
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