Nigeria 3-2 South Africa: Golden Eaglets edge thriller, take step nearer to FIFA World Cup ticket

Nigeria 3-2 South Africa: Golden Eaglets edge thriller, take step nearer to FIFA World Cup ticket

In an exhilarating encounter on the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over South Africa’s Amajimbos of their last Group B match of the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

The win propelled Nigeria into the quarterfinals of the event, whereas South Africa additionally progressed as probably the greatest two third-placed groups.

The match kicked off with an early setback for Nigeria as South Africa’s Vicky Mkhawana discovered the again of the web after simply 5 minutes, giving the Amajimbos a 1-0 lead. The Eaglets appeared to have misplaced focus within the early phases, paying homage to their earlier match in opposition to Morocco the place additionally they conceded early.

Nonetheless, they responded swiftly, with Abubakar Abdullahi lacking a golden alternative to equalize from shut vary within the seventh minute. Three minutes later, Charles Agada thought he had levelled the rating with a well-taken shot, however it was dominated offside.

The Eaglets continued to press ahead, and their persistence paid off within the thirty fifth minute when Charles Agada scored a nice header from a nook kick, equalizing the rating at 1-1.

Nigeria virtually took the lead simply earlier than halftime, as Abdullahi got here near including a second objective throughout two minutes of extra time.

Nonetheless, within the dying moments of the half, South Africa struck once more. Mkhawana turned supplier, establishing Siyabonga Nicolas Mabena to revive the Amajimbos’ lead. The half ended with South Africa forward 2-1, leaving Nigeria with work to do within the second half.

The Eaglets got here out of the break with renewed dedication and shortly discovered an equalizer. One minute into the second half, Mild Eke capitalized on a superb run by Agada, leveling the rating at 2-2.

As the sport approached the sixty fourth minute, Nigeria seized the lead for the primary time within the encounter. Abdullahi linked fantastically with Emmanuel Michael’s supply, placing the Eaglets forward 3-2 and sending the Nigerian supporters into jubilation.

The remaining minutes noticed Nigeria piling on the strain, trying to prolong their lead and safe a extra snug victory. Nonetheless, the South African defence held agency, and regardless of a number of shut calls, the scoreline remained unchanged.

The ultimate whistle blew, and the Eaglets emerged victorious with a hard-fought 3-2 win.

The end result ensured Nigeria’s qualification to the quarterfinals as Group B runners-up, behind Morocco, who misplaced 1-2 to Zambia. South Africa additionally progressed to the knockout stage as probably the greatest third-placed groups.

The Golden Eaglets’ subsequent problem will probably be within the quarterfinals, the place they may face the winner of the Group C match between defending champions Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

A win in that encounter will see Nigeria safe a much-coveted ticket to the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup later within the 12 months.

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