Nigeria’s Super Eagles sealed a spot in the semifinals of the competition following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Angola, while South Africa needed penalties to edge out Cape Verde
Nigeria kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet on the way to beating Angola 1-0, but surprisingly, only two Super Eagles players were included in the Best XI roster.
Interestingly, South Africa, who were second best for large portions of their clash with Cape Verde before winning on penalties, had five representatives on the list.
Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was edged out of the goalkeeping spot by South Africa’s Ronwen Williams, who saved four penalties as the Bafana Bafana knocked out the Blue Sharks.
There is no place for any of the Nigerian trio of Calvin Bassey, William Troost-Ekong, and Semi Ajayi in defence, with Cote d’Ivoire’s Singo, South Africa’s Mvala, and DR Congo’s Mbemba receiving the recognition.
In the five-man midfield, Nigeria’s Moses Simon gets the nod after his assist handed Nigeria the winning goal in their meeting with Angola. Simon had a 7.42 rating, the best he has managed at this tournament.
Frank Onyeka, however, missed out on the defensive midfield slot, which was picked by Bafana Bafana’s Mokoena.
In attack, Ademola Lookman, who had the highest rating of any striker with 7.70, gets into one of the two striking positions in the Best XI.
Despite his all-round brilliance, Victor Osimhen, who had a goal disallowed in that encounter, only earned a rating of 6.8 against Angola.
It was not good enough to earn the Napoli striker a spot in the Team of the Round, with South Africa’s Evidence Makgopa (7.15) the preferred partner for Lookman.
Interestingly, Nigeria and South Africa will face each other in the semifinal of the AFCON on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles have made it to the final just once in their last six appearances in the last-four stage of the competition.