South Africa is gearing up for a chance at redemption as they face Nigeria in the 2023 Afcon semifinals, aiming to avenge their 2-0 defeat by the Super Eagles in 2000. Tijani Babangida’s memorable brace secured Nigeria’s victory in that intense encounter at a packed Surulere stadium in Lagos during the co-hosting with Ghana.
The Bafana Bafana secured their spot in the 2023 AFCON semis on Saturday night, triumphing in a penalty shootout against Cape Verde. Captain Ronwen Williams showcased remarkable goalkeeping skills, saving four penalties after a goalless draw in regular time.
Meanwhile, Nigeria progressed to the last four with a 1-0 win against Angola in the quarterfinals. Ademola Lookman, who had earlier played a crucial role in Nigeria’s victory over Cameroon, capitalized on a Moses Simon pass to secure the lone goal against Angola.
Their last Afcon meeting in Egypt in 2019 ended with Nigeria prevailing 2-1 in the quarterfinals, ultimately losing to eventual winners Algeria in the semi-final. The historical encounters between these teams include Nigeria’s convincing 4-0 victory over South Africa in the group stage of the 2004 Nations Cup tournament in Tunisia.
Both teams are set to clash for a spot in this year’s AFCON final on Wednesday. The winner will face either DR Congo or host Ivory Coast in the title showdown.
The stage is set for an intense battle as South Africa seeks redemption and Nigeria aims to continue their quest for Afcon glory.