By Godson Ikiebey-
Nigeria qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations semifinals, defeating South Africa 2:1 on Wednesday night, July 10, 2019.
William Troost Ekong scored the winning goal with one minute remaining.
Nigeria scored the first goal in the 27 minute, through Samuel Chukwueze. He was recalled to the side after missing the previous round.
Nigeria stayed in control, missed chances and paid the price when Bongani Zungu headed an equaliser in the 71st minute with South Africa’s first shot on target.
The goal was initially ruled offside but then awarded after a VAR check, the first major intervention by technology since it was introduced for the quarterfinals.
Speaking after the match, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said:
“We had a plan, it was working, we scored, we failed to score a second goal. What I like in my team is that they never give up, they are never down, and they came back in the last minute, so this can take us very far”.
Also speaking, South Africa coach Stuart Baxter said:
“It’s difficult when you’ve lost the game in the dying minutes, it’s difficult to find positives. I’m sure in one week’s time. I will find positives but now it’s very difficult”.