The Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles, secured their place in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after a thrilling 4-2 penalty shootout victory against South Africa,Daily Trust reports.

Captain William Troost-Ekong successfully converted a penalty, while Kelechi Iheanacho netted the decisive spot-kick. Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali emerged as the hero, making two crucial saves during the shootout, propelling Nigeria to their eighth AFCON final.

Despite concerns over Victor Osimhen’s fitness leading up to the match, the striker recovered in time to lead the team’s attack admirably. Bright Osayi-Samuel filled in capably for the injured Zaidu Sanusi.

ALSO READ: Court Orders Federal Gov’t To Fix Price Of Goods In 7…

Early on, South Africa dominated possession and created the first significant chance through Sphephelo Sithole, whose long-range effort was thwarted by Nwabali. The Nigerian goalkeeper denied Percy Tau’s attempt as well.

As the match progressed, both teams had opportunities to break the deadlock, with Alex Iwobi and Evidence Makgopa testing the opposing goalkeepers. However, the first half ended without either side scoring.

Nigeria emerged with renewed determination after halftime, and Osimhen won a penalty after being fouled in the box. Troost-Ekong confidently converted the spot-kick to give Nigeria a 1-0 lead. South Africa responded quickly, equalizing from the penalty spot through Tebohong Mokoena.

Despite Osimhen’s disallowed goal and several chances for both teams in extra time, neither side could find a winner, leading to a penalty shootout.

Nigeria held their nerve during the shootout, with Iheanacho sealing the victory after Nwabali’s heroics in goal.

The Super Eagles will face the winner of the match between Ivory Coast and DR Congo in the final on Sunday.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here