Nigeria 2-1 South Africa: Super Eagles Scale Through Bafana Bafana Hurdle Into Semi-Finals (Highlights) 

Nigeria 2-1 South Africa: Super Eagles Scale Through Bafana Bafana Hurdle Into Semi-Finals (Highlights) 

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Bafana Bafana of South Africa 2-1 on Wednesday night to progress to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Goals from Samuel Chukwueze and William Troost-Ekong either side of Bongani Zungu's header handed Nigeria the win at the Cairo international stadium, Egypt.

In a contest that had fans of both sides talking tough before the game, it was the West Africans that left the pitch smiling.

Gernot Rohr had made two changes to his starting line up from the last game against Cameroon, with left back Jamilu Collins and winger Samuel Chukwueze picked ahead of Ola Aina and Simon Moses.

Rohr's counterpart, Stuart Baxter made no change to his team with Thembinkosi Lorch, who scored the goal that secured a 1-0 win over the tournament hosts Egypt, making his second successive start.

Nigeria started the more lively of both sides, as they tried to put the South Africans under pressure early on but failed to hit any shot on target.

And then the Bafana Bafana stars got into their rhythm, and began to string good passes amongst themselves with Nigeria now looking more dangerous on the counter.

With both teams battling hard for the ball in midfield, half chances fell to both Wilfred Ndidi and Lorch but they failed to trouble the goalkeepers with their efforts.

The Breakthrough, however, came in the 27th minute when Chukwueze pounced on a low cross by Alex Iwobi to beat Ronwen Williams after some neat footwork on the left side of attack from the Arsenal man.

Nigeria took the lead into the break but not without having to fight off attacks from the South Africans, including a late Lebogang Mothiba free-kick that was blocked by the wall.

The Super Eagles could have doubled their lead early in the second half through Oghenekaro Etebo but his curling free-kick was tipped onto the crossbar by SuperSport United shot-stopper, Williams.

Baxter's men deservedly got their equalizer in the latter stage of the game when Bongani Zungu scored with a header from Percy Tau's free-kick. The goal was first ruled out for offside but after consultation with Video Assistant Referee (VAR), referee Rédouane Jiyed awarded the goal.

At this point it looked like we were going to witness another AFCON extra-time until the South Africans lost concentration and were duly punished by Ekong.

The Udinese centre back had the simplest of tap-ins when left unmarked in the box to seal Nigeria's passage into the last four. Substitute Simon Moses provided the assist from a corner-kick in the 89th minute.

Nigeria will now wait on their next opponent which will be the winner between Algeria and Ivory Coast on Thurday. The semi-final clash will be played on Sunday.

Happenings Media