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Nigeria beat South Africa to reach AFCON final in penalty shootout thriller

© Themba Hadebe, AP

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored to give Nigeria a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over South Africa on Wednesday after an Africa Cup of Nations semi-final thriller in Bouake.

The match finished 1-1 after extra time and the three-time champions will face hosts Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo, who meet later, in the final on Sunday.

Both regular-time goals also came from penalties with captain William Troost-Ekong scoring after 67 minutes for Nigeria and Teboho Mokoena equalised from a 90th-minute spot-kick.

The Mokoena equaliser came after Nigeria thought they had scored a second goal through a tap-in from star forward Victor Osimhen.

But play was called back to the other end of the field after VAR alerted the Egyptian referee that South African Percy Tau had been fouled in the area, and the match official concurred.

Khuliso Mudau had a chance to win for South Africa in added time at the end of regular time, but blazed over after goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali parried a Mokoena free kick.

South Africa finished with 10 men when Grant Kekana was sent off on 115 minutes for a last-defender foul.

Nigeria entered the match with a perfect record against South Africa in the premier African football competition having won three previous meetings.

(AFP)


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