Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.


Nigeria vs South Africa LIVE: Afcon semi-final result and reaction as Super Eagles win penalty shootout

Nigeria 1-1 South Africa (4-2 pens): Super Eagles advance to final after dramatic penalty shootout victory

Ben Fleming
Wednesday 07 February 2024 20:45 GMT
Nigeria fans celebrate reaching AFCON final

Nigeria booked their place in their first Africa Cup of Nations final since 2013 after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over South Africa.

After a slow first half, the Super Eagles took the lead from the spot when William Troost-Ekong fired home from the spot after Victor Osimhen was brought down.

The favourites thought they had doubled the lead in the dying moments of regular time when Osimhen slammed home but a VAR check not only ruled out the goal but awarded South Africa a penalty after Alhassan Yusuf fouled Percy Tau inside the box.

Teboho Mokoena levelled from the spot before Khuliso Mudau spurned a golden opportunity to win the game for Bafana Bafana in the dying moments.

Grant Kekana saw red for South Africa in an otherwise quiet extra-time before Nigeria emerged victorious from the penalty shootout.

Relive all the action below.


Nigeria beat South Africa on penalties to reach AFCON final after VAR drama

Nigeria reached an eighth Africa Cup of Nations final after winning a drama-fuelled last-four clash with South Africa on penalties.

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was the hero for Nigeria after he saved efforts by Teboho Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa in a 4-2 shoot-out win, which only told half the story of an extraordinary clash where VAR was at the forefront of the action.

Nigeria thought they had booked their place in the final when Victor Osimhen tapped home in the 85th minute to add to William Troost-Ekong’s second-half penalty, but referee Amin Omar was told to intervene.

A review of the goal showed South Africa’s Percy Tau had been fouled inside the penalty area at the start of the move and the score went from 2-0 to Nigeria to 1-1 when Mokoena made no mistake from 12 yards.

South Africa defender Grant Kekana also received his marching orders towards the end of extra-time before Nwabali made the difference to fire the 2013 winners into another final.

Nigeria beat South Africa on penalties to reach AFCON final after VAR drama

Nigeria won 4-2 on penalties after a VAR-dominated semi-final showdown with South Africa.

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 20:39

The winning moment

What a moment for Iheanacho, sending his nation to the final with a sweetly-hit penalty:

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 20:32


Here are some photos from the penalty shoot-out and the aftermath:

Sonia Twigg7 February 2024 20:20

Who awaits the winner?

Nigeria have punched their ticket to Sunday’s final where they will either take on hosts Ivory Coast or underdogs DR Congo.

You can follow live updates from that match below:

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo LIVE: Latest Afcon semi-final updates

Can the tournament hosts, Ivory Coast, reach the final?

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 20:08

Nigeria punch ticket to Africa Cup of Nations final after dramatic penalty shootout win

Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali saved two penalties in the shootout to guide his side to a 4-2 victory over South Africa following a 1-1 draw on Wednesday and earn a place in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Nigeria had lost five of their previous six semi-finals at the continental finals but survived some nervous moments to book a place in Sunday’s decider against either hosts Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo, who meet later on Wednesday.

William Troost-Ekong put Nigeria into the lead from the penalty spot midway through the second half, before South Africa earned a spot-kick of their own in the final minute of the 90 and it was converted by Teboho Mokoena.

South Africa lost defender Grant Kekana to a red card in extra time as Nigeria put them under constant pressure, and then lost their nerve too in the shootout as Nwabali saved from Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa.

Report courtesy of Reuters

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 20:05


What a dramatic end to that contest. It looked for all the money that Nigeria were cruising to the final but VAR drama saw South Africa score a last-minute equaliser.

But South Africa couldn’t recreate their quarter-final penalty success and ultimately come up short in their first semi-final since 2000.

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 19:57

Nigeria 4-2 South Africa (penalty shootout)

GOAL! Iheanacho with the crucial penalty...and he scores!

Nigeria advance to the final - what a moment for the Super Eagles!

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 19:51

Nigeria 3-2 South Africa (penalty shootout)

GOAL! South Africa have to score to stay in the contest. Mvala steps up...and he makes no mistake.

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 19:50

Nigeria 3-1 South Africa (penalty shootout)

GOAL! An emphatic finish from Troost-Ekong to put Nigeria on the brink of a place in the final.

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 19:48

Nigeria 2-1 South Africa (penalty shootout)

SAVED! Or have they...Makgopa steps up but his effort is saved by Nwabali with a great stop down low to his right!

Ben Fleming7 February 2024 19:48

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in