The Super Eagles defeated South Africa 4–2 on penalties on Wednesday, and received a warm congratulations from President Bola Tinubu on making it to the Africa Cup of Nations final in Ivory Coast.
William Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the lead midway through the second half of their thrilling match at the Stade de la Paix, Bouke.
South Africa then earned a penalty of their own in the last minute of the 90th minute after Egyptian referee Amin Omar disallowed Osimhen’s goal after a VAR review.
Replays showed that midfielder Alhassan Yusuf had fouled Percy Tau.
After Bafana Bafana defender Grant Kekana was sent off late in the game, Teboho Mokoena scored from the spot in the ninetieth minute to send the match into a goalless extra time.
After dropping their previous five continental finals semi-final matches, the Eagles overcame some anxious moments to win 4-2 and secure a spot in Sunday’s championship game thanks to two penalty saves by Stanley Nwabali.
On his official X handle, Tinubu responded to the Eagles’ triumph by congratulating the team and urging them to win the championship.”
From Africa’s southernmost tip to the Mauritania Plains and the West African coast… You have elevated our collective pride as Nigerians! Proceed… In the AFCON championship game, soar. Fantastic work, guys!” he tweeted.
Following their outstanding performance, Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the most recent election, praised the team on his handle.
“Today (Wednesday) was yet another successful outing for Nigeria as our national team, the Super Eagles, showed incredible tenacity in defeating South Africa’s Bafana Bafana to advance Nigeria to the AFCON finals,” wrote Obi.
In addition, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu exclaimed, “We did it!!!!” in response to the victory.”We are extremely proud of our Super Eagles for having the extra willpower to persevere.”
Everyone pulled together to give us this victory, from coach José Peseiro, who was a silent hero, to Nwabali, who showed heroics during the game and on penalties, to Ekong, Osimhen, and Osimhen, who took the initiative to help us score.
The team received praise on social media from Dr. Peter Mbah, the governor of Enugu State.He wrote, “Heartfelt congratulations to Super Eagles on making it to the AFCON 2023 final.”
“That was a breathtaking encounter, but you were undoubtedly super in mentality and display.”Thank you for making us incredibly happy, and good luck in the competition final. We are thinking of you in our prayers.“Congratulations, Nigeria.”
“My dear Super Eagles, today you have given every Nigerian Compatriot a reason to rejoice,” said Senator John Enoh, Minister of Sports. We all give you a hat tip. You have demonstrated to us all the victorious nature of the Nigerian spirit. One match at a time, you are taking the continent by storm.
Bravo, contemporary heroes!”You have high expectations for yourself and you have not given up. Keep soaring and bring home the Africa Cup of Nations. Unto the Finals.”