Nigeria took a step closer to becoming the African Cup of Nations champion after Ronwen Williams' mistake gave William Troost-Ekong a late winner in a 2-1 triumph over South Africa in the quarterfinals on Wednesdays.
Bafana Bafana, who surprised host Egypt in the previous round, matched with 19 minutes remaining in Cairo when Bongani Zungu headed home and the game was apparently heading for overtime.
However, Troost-Ekong stayed at home in the 89th minute after Williams made a corner turn to thwart South Africa's hopes of progress and left Nigeria pursuing their dream of a fourth AFCON title.
It was a fair result for a Nigerian team after they dominated to a great extent and led in the 27th minute through Samuel Chukwueze, who was part of a live four Nigeria front who opened South Africa several times.
The result extends South Africa's record of never having defeated Nigeria in the Nations Cup, while the men of Gernot Rohr moved to the last four, where Ivory Coast of Algeria awaits, with a disciplined and determined performance.
After a cautious opening spell that saw Nigeria dominate the possession without creating any clear possibility, the dangerous Alex Iwobi brought down the left wing and crossed to the feet of Chukwueze, who with the side foot towards the net from six yards in the second tried.
Peter Etebo threw a free kick towards the top corner of the net five minutes after the second half, but Williams made a great save with one hand, pushing the ball up into the crossbar and offside.
Just when it looked like South Africa was running out of steam, Percy Tau's free kick deflected off Odion Ighalo's shoulder and Zungu hit a header to the net, with a VAR query that helped the referee reverse his first decision from outside. game and award him the tie. .
Nigeria went ahead in search of a winner and received a minute left in regular time when Moses Simon placed a corner in the box and Williams turned wildly in the delivery with his fist, allowing Troost-Ekong to pile up in his house when the ball He fell kindly. in his leg at a painful moment for the 27-year-old goalkeeper.
– Nigeria have qualified nine of their 10 quarterfinal matches in the African Cup of Nations.
– South Africa have been eliminated in their last three appearances in the quarterfinals of the competition, after qualifying in the first three.
– Samuel Chukwueze became the youngest goalscorer in the Africa Cup of Nations Total 2019 (20 years and 49 days). He has scored his first goal during his fourth game in the competition.