To get to the African Cup of Nations finals, the Nigerian Super Eagles have defeated the South African Bafana Bafana 4-2 in penalties.
The Bafana Bafana of South Africa dominated the match in the first half of the intense semi-final clash in Bouake, Ivory Coast, and threatened the Nigerian defense throughout the first 45 minutes.
Despite the threats from Bafana Bafana, the first half ended goalless thanks to outstanding saves from Nigerian goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali.
In the 67th minute, Captain William Troost-Ekong scored the first goal, giving Nigeria a 1-0 lead as he drove a penalty kick low into the net, deceiving goalie Ronwen Williams.
The Nigerian team thought the game had been sealed when few minutes to the end of the second half, Victor Osimhen scored with a perfect low strike inside the penalty box which went inside the left post.
Unfortunately for Nigeria, the VAR canceled out the goal due to a foul in the build-up to the goal. Hence, a penalty was awarded to South Africa which Teboho Mokoena converted in the 90th minute.
Due to the late-minute goal, the game was forced into 30 minutes of extra time with big chances from both teams, after which a winner still didn't emerge. Hence, the game was decided by a penalty shootout.
It seemed that South Africa had the surest chances of sealing the game, but after missing two free kicks, thanks to brilliant saves by Nwaabali, Kelechi Iheaacho who was an extra-time substitute scored the winning goal to seal the game with Nigeria winning the game 4-2 in penalties.
Nigeria’s performance in the AFCON has led the Super Eagles to the final as they strive to secure another AFCON trophy.