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Super Eagles land in AFCON final


Nigeria has secured a place in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), following a dramatic semifinal clash against South Africa, decided on penalty shootout at the Stade la Paix in Bouake on Wednesday.

In a tightly contested encounter, both sides battled to a 1-1 draw after regular time and extra time, setting the stage for a nerve-wracking shootout. Nigeria’s captain, William Troost-Ekong, proved decisive once again, slotting home a crucial penalty in the second half to send the Super Eagles into their first AFCON final since 2013.

Head coach Jose Peseiro’s tactical adjustment, introducing Bright Osayi-Samuel into the lineup, showcased Nigeria’s versatility. Despite facing early pressure from South Africa, Nigeria’s defense held firm, with goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali making a crucial save to deny Evidence Makgopa.

Despite a sluggish start, Nigeria grew into the game, with Victor Osimhen winning a penalty that Troost-Ekong expertly converted. The goal injected confidence into Nigeria’s play, but South Africa responded swiftly, equalizing from the penalty spot themselves.

With the match deadlocked at 1-1, extra time failed to produce a winner, leading to a dramatic penalty shootout. Nigeria held their nerve, with Troost-Ekong and Kelechi Iheanacho converting their penalties to seal a hard-fought 4-3 victory.

Nigeria’s path to the final showcased their resilience and determination, with standout performances from key players when it mattered most. Despite facing adversity, the Super Eagles demonstrated their quality and now eagerly anticipate the opportunity to compete for the prestigious AFCON title.

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