Nigeria head to AFCON semifinals after 2-1 win over S. Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-11 07:29:19|Editor: zh
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Players of Nigeria celebrate after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals between Nigeria and South Africa in Cairo, Egypt, on July 10, 2019. Nigeria won 2-1. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

CAIRO, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's Super Eagles managed here on Wednesday night to narrowly edge South Africa's Bafana Bafana 2-1 and advance to the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Midfielder Samuel Chukwueze scored the first goal for Nigeria in the 27th minute from a rebound after his first right footed shot inside the box was blocked by a South African defender.

In the 70th minute, midfielder Bongani Zungu scored the equalizer for South Africa by a header from a free kick, looping the ball into the back of the net. An offside flag was raised but the goal was confirmed after VAR consultation.

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

Three-time AFCON champions Nigeria reached the quarterfinals as second of Group B with two wins and a loss to group leaders and AFCON debutants Madagascar, who will face Tunisia on Thursday in a confrontation for the semifinals.

Earlier on Wednesday, Liverpool star Sadio Mane's Senegal secured their spot in the semifinals after beating Benin 1-0.

The Super Eagles will face the winners of Thursday's quarterfinal match between Cote d'Ivoire and Algeria, who both are ex-AFCON champions.

Bafana Bafana, who forced hosts and seven-time AFCON champions Egypt out of the competition in the knockouts, won the AFCON title once in 1996.

The 32nd AFCON, Africa's largest soccer championship, kicked off in Egypt on June 21 and will conclude on July 19.

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