AFCON: Super Eagles shoot down Bafana to reach semis

Samuel Chukwueze’s first-half strike and an 89th-minute goal from William Troost-Ekong was enough to beat Bafana Bafana 2-1 and help the Super Eagles book a place in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday.

It was the third time both sides would meet at the tournament and like the two previous occasions, the Super Eagles had the last laugh over their rivals in a hotly-contested encounter.

The Eagles were the better of the two sides from the blast but failed to convert their chances in the first five minutes.

Bafana’s Sifiso Hlanti was fortunate not to be shown a straight red after a rough tackle on Chidozie Awaziem but Lebo Motihiba was shown the first yellow of the game in the 14th minute for pulling Awaziem’s shirt.

In the 26th minute, the Super Eagles had a penalty shout turned down by Moroccan referee, Redoune Jiyed but seconds later, the Nigerians grabbed the opener in the 27th minute through Villarreal forward Chukwueze with a well-placed shot after a neat dribble and fine work from Alex Iwobi.

Chuwueze almost got his second in the 42nd minutes after dribbling past three defenders but saw his shot blocked by Bafana goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams.

The West Africans started the second half on the front foot again and almost got the second goal when Oghenekaro Etebo saw his superb free-kick hit the crossbar.

South Africa got the equalizer in the 74th minute after Bongani Zungu nodded in a cross from Percy Tau. There was an initial call for an offside but VAR showed that the ball came off the back of Odion Ighalo before getting to Zungu.

READ ALSO: Lions stronger than Bafana – Ighalo

Rohr made his first substitution in the 81st minute bringing on Moses Simon for the tired Ahmed Musa.

Nigeria was back in front with just a minute to full time. Substitute Simon crossed in a superb corner, which keeper Williams failed to deal with and he was punished by Troost-Ekong, who pounced on the loose ball and fired his side to a historic win with a simple tap-in.

Nigeria will face the winners of the Ivory Coast versus Algeria last eight clashes in the semi-final of the tournament.

PUNCH.                

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