Nigeria Clinch Africa Cup of Nations Final Berth in Thrilling Penalty Shoot-out
9 February 2024
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Sports Correspondent

In a nail-biting encounter, Nigeria secured their spot in the Africa Cup of Nations final after a gripping penalty shoot-out triumph against South Africa on Wednesday.

The match was filled with suspense and drama, with Nigeria initially leading 1-0 and seeming to score a second goal, only for VAR to intervene and award South Africa a penalty.

Teboho Mokoena converted the penalty, sending the game into extra time, but Nigeria ultimately emerged victorious in the penalty shootout.

Led by Bobo Nwabali’s two crucial saves, Nigeria prevailed 4-2 on penalties, booking their place in the AFCON final where they will clash with Ivory Coast.

Despite Nigeria’s early dominance in territory, they encountered difficulty breaking down South Africa’s solid defense.

Meanwhile, South Africa exploited space behind Nigeria’s defense, posing a constant threat.

The first half concluded without any goals, but Nigeria surged ahead in the second half, with captain William Troost-Ekong converting from the penalty spot.

However, their joy was short-lived as VAR nullified Victor Osimhen’s apparent goal due to a foul by Alhassan Yusuf, leading to Mokoena’s equalizing penalty in the dying minutes.

Extra time saw both teams pushing for a decisive goal, yet neither could find the breakthrough.

Despite a missed penalty by Ola Aina for Nigeria, South Africa faltered with misses from Mokoena, Evidence Makgopa, and Mothobi Mvala, propelling the Super Eagles into the final.