Dramatic Penalty Shootout Victory Sends Nigeria into Title Decider
Nigeria secured their place in the Africa Cup of Nations final in thrilling fashion, with goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali emerging as the hero by saving two crucial penalties in a nail-biting shootout against South Africa.
The Super Eagles had faced heartbreak in previous semi-finals, but they overcame their demons to edge past South Africa in a tense encounter, setting up a showdown in Sunday’s final against either Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The match saw William Troost-Ekong give Nigeria the lead with a well-taken penalty in the second half, only for South Africa to equalize in the dying moments of normal time through Teboho Mokoena’s spot-kick.
Extra-time saw South Africa reduced to ten men after Grant Kekana was shown a red card, but they held on to force a penalty shootout. However, it was Nigeria who held their nerve when it mattered most, with Nwabali stepping up to save crucial penalties from Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa, sealing Nigeria’s place in the final.
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