Cyprus Mail
Football

Nigeria and Senegal reach Africa Cup semis

Nigeria scored a late winner to beat South Africa 2-1

Nigeria sneaked into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals when William Troost Ekong scored with one minute remaining to give them a 2-1 win over a gallant South Africa as the tournament served up more drama on Wednesday.

Troost Ekong turned the ball in with his knee from a corner just as Nigeria seemed to be in danger of throwing away a game they dominated for more than an hour.

Samuel Chukwueze, recalled to the side after missing the previous round, put the Super Eagles in front when he scored at the second attempt in the 27th minute.

Nigeria stayed in control, missed chances and paid the price when Bongani Zungu headed an equaliser in the 71st minute with South Africa’s first shot on target. The goal was initially ruled offside but then awarded after a VAR check — the first major intervention by technology since it was introduced for the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere. Senegal’s Idrissa Gana Gueye scored 20 minutes from time to take them through as expected to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals but their 1-0 victory over minnows Benin was a largely laboured affair.

Gana Gueye’s goal was one of the few highlights at Cairo’s 30 June Stadium with the midfielder setting up the move and then finishing much to the relief to Africa’s top-ranked team as they struggled to break down their determined opponents.

Gana Gueye, who had possession just outside the centre circle, passed the ball directly forward to Sadio Mane and then sprinted upfield to virtually steal the ball off his team mate and tuck away a neat finish.

Senegal must wait until Thursday to find out whether they meet either Madagascar or Tunisia in Sunday’s semi-final.

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