AFCON: Peseiro Guides Nigeria to Final After Beating South Africa in Penalty Shootout

Nigeria's soccer players celebrate a goal during the AFCON game.

Nigeria's soccer players celebrate a goal during the AFCON game.

Nigeria, led by José Peseiro, secured their spot in the 2023 AFCON final by overcoming South Africa in a penalty shootout. The opponent in the final will be determined between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast, with the latter hosting this edition of the tournament.

The only two goals of the game were scored in regular time, both through penalties. Troost-Ekong, the Nigerian captain, opened the scoring at the 67th minute, but Mokoena leveled for the South Africans at the 90th minute, forcing the match into extra time. Controversy arose at the 85th minute when Osimhen celebrated what appeared to be Nigeria’s second goal, initially confirmed after VAR review. However, the referee annulled the goal and awarded a penalty to South Africa.

In extra time, at the 115th minute, Kekana, a South African defender, received a red card for a foul on Moffi, resulting in a free-kick at the entrance of the penalty area. Despite this, the game had to be decided in a penalty shootout. The goalkeeper Nwabili, hailed as the man of the match, saved the shots from Makgopa and Mokoena, the latter converting the decisive penalty to force the match into extra time. Aina, on the other hand, missed the third penalty for the team. Iheanacho capitalized on the opportunity, converting the fifth penalty for the Nigerians and leading the team to the AFCON final for the first time since their 2013 title win.

The final is scheduled for this Sunday at 8:00 PM, and José Peseiro has the opportunity to become the first Portuguese coach to win this prestigious tournament.

Author: visao

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