Nigeria and South Africa will, on Wednesday, February 7, play for the possibility to seem within the last of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng experiences.
The Tremendous Eagles and Bafana Bafana are two of the 4 nations left on the thirty fourth version of the AFCON after three weeks of essentially the most exhilarating soccer ever witnessed on the continent.
To get to this stage, Nigeria drew 1-1 with Equatorial Guinea and claimed easy victories over hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, and Angola.
South Africa, alternatively, misplaced 0-2 to Mali of their opener, defeated Namibia, and drew with Tunisia earlier than gorgeous favourites Morocco and knocking out Cape Verde by way of penalties.
Forward of their semifinal conflict on the Stade de la Paix, Bouake, Soccernet.ng’s Imhons Erons presents the mixed Finest XI whose contributions have introduced their groups this far.
Nigeria’s Stanley Nwabali and South Africa’s Ronwen Williams have each saved 4 consecutive clear sheets at this match.
Nwabali would have edged this head-to-head as he has solely conceded one aim in comparison with Williams’ two.
Nonetheless, Williams was the largest star of the quarterfinals after stopping 4 Cape Verde penalties – the primary time anybody has managed such in any main worldwide competitions.
GK – Williams
Khuliso Mudau was poor in opposition to Mali and had most likely his finest recreation in opposition to Cape Verde in a match the place the Blue Sharks fully outclassed the Bafana Bafana.
Ola Aina has, nonetheless, been Mr Constant for Nigeria, churning out one high quality efficiency after one other.
He has been deployed as a wing-back, combining each right-back and right-winger duties, and he has not been discovered wanting in any
RB – Aina
Nigeria have performed the trio of Semi Ajayi, William Troost-Ekong, and Calvin Bassey on the coronary heart of the defence, they usually have shaped the bedrock of the most effective defence within the AFCON.
Troost-Ekong’s management and defensive nous have proven brilliantly in key moments, together with when he scored the penalty that handed Nigeria the win over Cote d’Ivoire.
South Africa haven’t been with out some wonderful defenders, although, with the partnership of Grant Kekana and Mothobi Mvala standing out all by way of. Mvala narrowly beats his accomplice to this one, although.
LCB – Troost-Ekong
RCB – Mvala
FC Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi has been Nigeria’s number-one left wing-back, however he has struggled to make his impression.
Fairly, Calvin Bassey has bailed him out on a number of events, and the Fulham defender is why many are placing up with the continued keep of Sanusi within the Tremendous Eagles’ first eleven.
South Africa’s Aubrey Modiba has additionally been solely barely higher than Sanusi.
Bassey, although, has been strong and selfless, and he additionally created Nigeria’s second aim in opposition to Cameroon to bundle Modiba and Sanusi out of his approach to stake his declare to the left-back function.
LB – Bassey
Questions had been raised at the beginning of the marketing campaign as as to if Frank Onyeka was adequate to step into the large sneakers of the injured Wilfred Ndidi at this match.
The Brentford man has answered these questions emphatically and has been top-of-the-line defensive midfielders in Ivory Coast.
Solely South Africa’s Teboho Mokoena has most likely executed higher than Onyeka. Mokoena, for his work charge, dynamism, and high quality, has been simply the Bafana Bafana’s finest participant on the AFCON.
Mokoena had an help within the 4-0 victory over Namibia and scored that excellent free-kick that nailed Morocco’s coffin within the second spherical.
Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi and South Africa’s Sithole must sit this one out.
MF – Onyeka
MF – Mokoena
Ademola Lookman has been top-of-the-line gamers of this match, along with his three essential objectives within the knockout rounds the rationale the Tremendous Eagles are nonetheless alive and kicking.
Aside from his game-winning objectives in opposition to Cameroon and Angola, Lookman has delivered constant, energetic shows and has at all times left every little thing on the pitch.
Whereas South Africa’s Morena has not been solely poor, his contributions pale within the presence of Lookman’s.
On the other flank, Percy Tau has didn’t stay as much as expectations, whereas Moses Simon’s help in opposition to Angola solely papers over his inefficiency in earlier video games.
South Africa’s Themba Zwane has introduced his expertise to bear at this match.
The 34-year-old netted two objectives within the 4-0 win over Namibia and assisted the essential opening aim within the wonderful 2-0 win over World Cup semifinalists Morocco.
FW – Lookman
FW – Zwane
Regardless of boasting the abilities of Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Terem Moffi, Nigeria have relied closely on the abilities of the reigning Africa Footballer of the 12 months, Victor Osimhen.
Osimhen has just one aim and one help to his identify, however he additionally received the penalty that gave the Tremendous Eagles the win over Ivory Coast and single-handedly tore Cameroon aside.
The Napoli man had a aim disallowed in opposition to Angola and has been a handful for opponents on the AFCON.
South Africa’s Proof Makgopa can be happy with his contributions to his nation’s historic efficiency on the thirty fourth version of the continental championship.
The 23-year-old will cherish his help versus Namibia and his high quality strike in opposition to Morocco.
Regardless of the consequence of the match in opposition to Nigeria, the Bafana Bafana have had a fruitful expertise within the Ivory Coast, and Makgopa has been an enormous a part of that.
CF – Osimhen
CF – Makgopa
Nigeria v South Africa: Mixed Finest Eleven – (4-2-2-2)
Ronwen Williams; Ola Aina, William Troost Ekong, Mothobi Mvala, Calvin Bassey; Teboho Mokoena, Frank Onyeka; Ademola Lookman, Themba Zwane; Victor Osimhen, Proof Makgopa.