Nigeria leave it late to reach Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals

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William Troost-Ekong scored an 89th victor after a howler from the goalkeeper to seal Nigeria's place in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with a 2-1 win over South Africa.

"Congratulations to the Super Eagles on a well-deserved victory over South Africa, tonight".

Former Chelsea star Mikel is expected to overcome a knee problem and feature for the Super Eagles when they take on South Africa for a spot in the last four.

Most South Africans had written off Bafana Bafana (The Boys) after a dismal one-win group campaign and were discussing who should replace unpopular coach Stuart Baxter.

South Africa know how to arrive in style!

"South Africans are not naturally mobile", he added. Keep an eye out for Thembinkosi Lorch, he grabbed the all-important victor against Egypt last time out! The match is a rematch of Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana, not more than eight months after both teams played out a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg during the qualifiers.

Nigerian captain Ahmed Musa was booked for a foul on Mkhize, but while Bafana got a few set pieces in unsafe situations, they could not capitalize.

Under Baxter, South Africa normally play with a counter-attacking style but surprised Egypt on Saturday by diverting from that slightly and deploying an aggressive high press.

Goals from Samuel Chukwueze and William Troost-Ekong handed Nigeria the victory over the 1996 Afcon winners.

But Udinese's Troost-Ekong bundled home from close range late on to win it.

In a congratulatory message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari said the mission of having "the trophy in our hands for the fourth time is nearly accomplished for the high-flying Eagles". "What I like in my team is that they never give up, they are never down, and they came back in the last minute, so this can take us very far".

Chukwueze was a constant threat down the right wing, his pace, trickery and dribbling was an endless headache for the opposing defenders.

While the game looked destined to go to extra time, Nigeria's defender William Troost-Ekong scored the crucial victor by a right footed shot poking a corner home, after South Africa's flying goalkeeper's punch missed to clear in the 89th minute.

  • Julie Sanders