Nigeria beat South Africa to enter Final of AFCON Cup 2024

Nigeria beat South Africa to enter Final of AFCON Cup 2024

Kelechi Iheanacho secured Nigeria's spot in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations by converting the winning penalty in a 4-2 shootout victory over South Africa.

The match, held in Bouake, ended 1-1 after an eventful conclusion to regular time. A Victor Osimhen goal was disallowed following a VAR review, leading to a penalty for South Africa, which Teboho Mokoena successfully converted in the 90th minute. The game then went into extra time, during which South Africa's Grant Kekana was sent off.

Despite Mokoena's earlier heroics, his penalty was one of two saved by Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, ensuring the Super Eagles' progression to the final. They will face Ivory Coast in Sunday's final.

William Troost-Ekong had initially put Nigeria ahead with a penalty in the second half, setting the stage for their bid to win their fourth continental title.  Nigeria's victory continued their perfect record against South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations, maintaining their unbeaten streak in all four encounters, including a semi-final clash in 2000.

Despite fervent support from their fans, Nigeria struggled in the first half, with Percy Tau missing a golden opportunity for South Africa. The Super Eagles' offensive struggles persisted throughout the match, highlighted by Osimhen's limited involvement and missed opportunities.

Troost-Ekong's penalty provided the breakthrough for Nigeria, reminiscent of his earlier performance against Ivory Coast. The match saw both sides create chances, with Evidence Makgopa coming close for South Africa and Ademola Lookman missing a crucial opportunity for Nigeria in the dying moments of regular time.

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