2-1! Nigeria bounce South Africa, into AFCON SFs

by Samuel Abasi Posted on July 10th, 2019

Nigeria’s Super Eagles became the second team (after Senegal) to reach Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) semifinal after defeating South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday night.

Wilfried N’didi gave Bafana Bafana an idea of what to expect when he had the first shot after 6 minutes. And despite seeing South Africa with more possession, Nigeria had the lion share of chances.

Samuel Chukwueze opened scoring for Nigeria on 27th minute. Chukwueze was in the right place at the right time to get to the rebound inside the box and gleefully rifled the ball low inside the left post to make it 1-0 for Nigeria.

On 42nd minute, Chukwueze went on a weaving run through the defence and got within shooting range but his effort was blocked.

Oghenekaro Etebo, on 51st minute took a mid-range free kick, but Ronwen Williams stopped the ball from reaching the top left corner by tipping it onto the post, it was a great save.

On 60th minute, a through ball from Ahmed Musa failed to reach Odion Ighalo as one of the defending players reacted brilliantly to intercept the effort. If the pass had been produced a little bit earlier, Ighalo could have got into a promising position.

Bongani Zungu made it 1-1 for South Africa on 71st minute. He lashed onto the rebound near the penalty spot, and he produced a fantastic header which went inside the right post.

The linesman had ruled out the goal but VAR gave it to South Africa.

William Troost-Ekong sealed the deal for the Eagles in the 89th minute following Moses Simon crossing from a resulting corner which dropped in a free space before finding the net to make it 2-1 for Nigeria.

It was a just result for a Nigeria team after they had largely dominated and led in the 27th minute through Samuel Chukwueze, who was part of a lively Nigeria front four that opened South Africa up several times.

The result extends South Africa’s record of never having beaten Nigeria at the Cup of Nations, while Gernot Rohr’s men moved into the last four – where Ivory Coast of Algeria await – with a disciplined, determined performance.

South Africa will leave Egypt with heads high after reaching the last eight despite playing in the group of death, and then eliminating hosts and favorites Egypt from the Round of 16.

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