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Nigeria clinches Africa Cup of Nations Final with penalty drama

Nigeria’s journey to the Africa Cup of Nations final was punctuated with nerve-wracking moments as goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali’s heroics saved two crucial penalties in a shootout, securing a 4-2 triumph over South Africa after a tense 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

William Troost-Ekong’s penalty midway through the second half gave Nigeria the lead, countered by Teboho Mokoena’s last-minute equaliser for South Africa, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

South Africa’s defensive woes deepened in extra time with Grant Kekana’s red card, allowing Nigeria to press relentlessly, while Nwabali’s brilliance denied South Africa’s hopes in the penalty shootout.

The match marked a redemption for Nigeria, who had endured disappointment in past semi-finals, finally securing a berth in Sunday’s final against either Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Nwabali’s unexpected rise from Chippa United to national prominence epitomises Nigeria’s journey of resilience and determination, underscoring the team’s hunger for success.

Despite South Africa’s valiant efforts, missed opportunities haunted their quest for victory, relegating them to the bronze-medal match.

Nigeria’s triumph, their seventh in continental semi-finals, signals a breakthrough, dispelling doubts surrounding their ability to overcome historic obstacles.

Victor Osimhen’s decisive contribution and Troost-Ekong’s composure underscore Nigeria’s depth and determination, paving the path for a thrilling final showdown.:


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