William Troost-Ekong’s late winner sent Nigeria through to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday after a tense 2-1 victory over South Africa in Cairo.
Samuel Chukwueze fired the Super Eagles ahead in the first half in front of a healthy, largely pro-Nigerian crowd at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.
But Bongani Zungu’s looping header brought South Africa level on 70 minutes, the goal awarded with the aid of VAR – introduced for the first time at the tournament from the quarter-final stage onwards – after it was initially ruled out for offside.
Centre-back Troost-Ekong then turned home at a corner a minute from time to set three-time champions Nigeria up with a clash against Algeria or Ivory Coast for a spot in the July 19 final.
“We were lucky in the end to score this second goal because in the second half South Africa played much better,” said Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.