The Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Wednesday showed supremacy against Bafana Bafana of South Africa winning 4-2 in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of tension-soaked football encounter which ended 1-1.
Penpushing reports that, Super Eagles victory sparked wild celebrations across Nigerian cities and among Nigerians in the diaspora, while this is the first African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final for the Super Eagles in 11 years
The Nigeria soccer squad last won the nations cup tournament in 2013 in South Africa, and before then, the team won it in Nigeria in 1980 and Tunisia in 1994, while the world is awaiting if the team will triumph again this time around.
Penpushing further reports that in the Wednesday encounter the Super Eagles did not display their best football in the first half, as their performance was seemingly affected by the absence of Zaidu Sanusi and Ola Aina’s slow adjustment to the left wing-back position.
The South Africa team, however, capitalised on this imbalance, finding success with lofted passes over the Nigerian defence, while loose ball control from both defenders and midfielders provided attacking opportunities for the opponents.
Penpushing also reports that with a 5-man defence in place for South Africa when Nigeria attacks, Jose Peseiro introduced some new players, including Kelechi Iheanacho, in the second half, the coach needed one or two skilled dribblers to break through the South African defence, which had gained confidence as the match progressed.
The Bafana Bafana excelled in exploiting short spaces in the midfield, despite efforts from Alex Iwobi and Onyeka to cover defensively, and was equally the superior side in the first half, boasting more possession, passes, and shots on target.
Penpushing reports that Nigerian team, however, came on stronger in the second, pressuring the South Africans and forcing a penalty which Williams Ekong converted, but they couldn’t defend enough to wrap up the game at regulation time.
The Bafana Bafana at 90th minute of the match earned a penalty with which the levelled scores, while the match then went into extra time but no goal came to separate the sides as at the 120 minutes of the encounter
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