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Nigeria Defeat South Africa 4-2 on Penalties To Soar into AFCON Final 

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning penalty as Nigeria booked their place in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a 4-2 shootout win over South Africa.

The game in Bouake finished 1-1 following a remarkable end to normal time which involved the referee going to his video monitor to disallow a Victor Osimhen strike which would have put Nigeria 2-0 up – and instead awarding a penalty to South Africa.

Teboho Mokoena converted from the spot in the 90th minute to send the game into a goalless period of extra-time.

But the midfielder was one of two South African players to see their spot-kicks saved by goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali as the Super Eagles triumphed to reach Sunday’s final, where they will play either hosts Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen was a doubt for Nigeria heading into the semi-final due to an abdominal upset and in the very first minute, he sent jitters down the spine of millions of Nigerians when he went down clutching his midriff. 

However, his tigerish performance for the rest of the match set the tone for the Super Eagles who throughout the competition have displayed a toughness not necessarily associated with them. 

Osimhen’s incessant hustling and bustling paid off in the 64th minute when he won a penalty for Nigeria after a driving run was illegally halted in the South African box. 

 William Troost-Ekong nonchalantly rolled It under Romwen Williams in the 67th minute to put the Super Eagles in the lead.

 However, South Africa equalised in the 90th minute through a penalty of their own, given after a VAR check which also cancelled a second goal by Nigeria.

The match went into extra time, then penalties, with Nigeria scoring four of five kicks from Terem Moffi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ekong and Iheanacho. Ola Aina was the only one to miss his kick.

However South Affica-based Super Eagles keeper Stanley Nwabali was the star of the spot-kicks, saving two of the four he faced to come out trumps over his opposite number Williams, who who had save four kicks in the previous round against Cape Verde but couldn’t save any from a confident Nigerian side progressing to a first final since lifting the trophy in 2013.

Details later… 

The post Nigeria Defeat South Africa 4-2 on Penalties To Soar into AFCON Final  appeared first on Arise News.

from MoMusicDate

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