Samuel Chukwueze’s first international goal and William Troost-Ekong’s late winner broke South African hearts as the Super Eagles made it to the semi-final of the Afcon for the first time since they last won the championship in 2013.
Nigeria have qualified for the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt 2019, after recording a pleasing 2 – 1 victory over Bafana Bafana, Wednesday night at the Cairo International Stadium.
After a tensed opening few minutes where tempers threatened to boil and a yellow card was shown, Nigeria produced a moment of quality to open the scoring.
Alex Iwobi’s vision allowed the attacker to find Samuel Chukwueze in a great position and he politely obliged by sending his shot past the goalkeeper for his first ever goal for Nigeria.
The Super Eagles should have doubled their lead afterwards.
First, Chukwueze ballooned his effort over the bar after a quick counter.
Before Dean Furman displayed a stunning piece of defensive play to once again block the goalscorer’s goal bound effort.
Bafana Bafana grew into the game after play resumed in the second half and had a few decent chances on goal.
Their equalizer arrived however in the 70th minute with a big help from VAR, Bongani Zunga directing an effort towards goal when many around, including the linesman, thought he was offside. VAR intervened and South Africans celebrated.
But at the same ground where Bafana Bafana produced their best outing of the tournament to send host Egypt crashing out of the championship, it was Nigeria who would laugh last.
With the game heading for another drab draw, William Troost-Ekong popped up in the opponents’ box to score the all-important winner off an assist from substitute Moses Simon.
With the victory, the Super Eagles have now recorded three straight wins over the Bafana Bafana at the Afcon and 50 wins overall at the Afcon finals.