AFCON 2023: Nigeria to reward Super Eagles for commitment in reaching final

The Federal Government has promised to reward the Super Eagles for showing strong commitment and dedication in reaching the final of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Vice President Kashim Shettima revealed this to the players and their officials in the dressing room following their hard-fought victory over South Africa in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Shettima, who was with Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Minister for Youth, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, as well as oil mogul Wale Tinubu, FIFA Council Member Amaju Pinnick, and NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau, also said that the government and Nigerians are proud of their accomplishments.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria showed great determination and resilience to defeat the Bafana Bafana of South Africa 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals of the 2023 AFCON to reach the final, where they will face the host nation, Ivory Coast.

Nigeria went into the lead in the 67th minute of the game through captain William Troost-Ekong from the penalty spot after Victor Osimhen was brought down in the 18-yard area.

Teboho Mokoena thereafter put South Africa level on 1-1 also from the penalty spot in the 90th minute after Alhassan Yusuf, who replaced Alex Iwobi on 63 minutes, fouled Percy Tau.

The penalty was awarded to the Bafana Bafana following a lengthy check by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), with the main referee also going to look at the monitor before giving it.

In the 115th minute of the game, which had gone into extra time, Terem Moffi, who replaced Osimhen, was through on goal before being brought down by Grant Kekana, who was also issued a red card.

The Super Eagles, despite having a player more could, however, not score the winning goal as the match went into a penalty shootout, which saw Moffi, Kenneth Omeruo and Troost-Ekong net their spotkicks.

South Africa failed to convert two of their spot kicks, with goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali saving both, and despite Ola Aina throwing away his penalty, Kelechi Iheanacho scored his to help the Super Eagles win 4-2 and reach the final of AFCON 2023.

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