Nigeria Secures Spot in AFCON 2024 Final with Dramatic Penalty Shootout Win over South Africa

Nigeria Secures Spot in AFCON 2024 Final with Dramatic Penalty Shootout Win over South Africa
Victor Osimhen
Written By : Leah De-Graft Takyi


In a nail-biting showdown, Nigeria triumphed over South Africa in a penalty shootout, securing a spot in the highly anticipated 2024 Africa Cup of Nations final. The thrilling encounter in Bouake witnessed the Super Eagles emerging victorious 4-2 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 in regular time.

The match had its share of twists, with a late-game controversy as the referee disallowed Victor Osimhen's goal that would have given Nigeria a 2-0 lead, instead awarding a penalty to South Africa. Teboho Mokoena converted the penalty in the 90th minute, forcing the game into extra time.

Extra time saw South Africa's Grant Kekana receiving a red card, leaving his team with ten players. However, Nigeria's goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali emerged as the hero, saving two penalties from South African players, securing Nigeria's victory and setting the stage for a final clash with Ivory Coast, who triumphed over DR Congo in the other semi-final.

Despite Nigeria's perfect record against South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations, with three previous victories, including a semi-final in 2000, the first half of the match saw Nigeria struggling to assert dominance as South Africa controlled the game. Percy Tau missed a crucial chance for South Africa in the first half.

The second half showcased a more determined Nigeria, with Osimhen being fouled inside the penalty area in the 67th minute. Troost-Ekong confidently converted the penalty, breaking the deadlock. However, the game remained intense, with both teams having opportunities. South Africa's Evidence Makgopa and Nigeria's Ademola Lookman had chances to secure victory but couldn't find the back of the net.

Nigeria now prepares to face Ivory Coast in what promises to be an electrifying final, as they seek to clinch the Africa Cup of Nations title.

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