Cairo was the venue for the highly anticipated and emotional tie between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, which saw Nigeria secure an impressive and inspired 2-1 win over South Africa to book a spot in the Semi Finals of the ongoing Total African Cup of Nations.
In a frantic start to the tie with both teams trying to get the early goal, it took a settled Nigerian side with a clean display of sleek control from Alex Iwobi and a bit of mother luck that led to a clean finish by the 20-year-old Villarreal breakout star, Samuel Chukwueze, in the 27th minute to give Nigeria a deserving first half lead.
A cross field pass from Wilfred Ndidi beautifully picked out Ahmed Musa in the left flank and with a chest control and a one-time pass from Musa to Iwobi, a quick feet dribble from Iwobi gave him a chance to pick out a pass which fell kindly to Chukwueze whose first time finish needed the help of a ricochet to fall nicely in place for a clean finish to put Nigeria one goal ahead against South Africa.
Nigeria had a chance to double their lead in the 49th minute but were denied by a sumptuous save from Williams to deny Oghenekaro Etebo from a good free kick.
Nigeria looked very threatening but with nothing to show for as they couldn’t be clinical to chances created by Chukwueze and paid for it as South Africa had a VAR decision go in their favour after a free kick which was ruled offside by the Assistant Referee was confirmed to have deflected off Odion Ighalo and fell kindly for Zungu to equalize for South Africa in the 70th minute.
Nigeria secured a spot in the Semi Final of the Total African Cup of Nation with Williams Troost Ekong scoring from a Moses Simon corner kick to break the hearts of the South Africans in the 89th minute, who had believed that they could secure a victory against another African Giant.
But it was Nigeria’s victory to savor as they secured an impressive and yet another successive semi-final appearance in their last two African Cup of Nation’s tournament.