Nigeria have reached the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals but left it late to overcome a gallant South Africa as the tournament served up more drama on Wednesday. Defender William Troost-Ekong turned the ball in from a corner in the 89th minute to snatch a 2-1 win, just as Nigeria seemed to be in danger of throwing away a game they had dominated.
The goal was initially ruled offside but then awarded after a VAR check showed that the ball had deflected off Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo before Zungu headed home. Extra time looked on the cards until Troost-Ekong pounced after Ronwen Williams failed to collect a corner. They will face Algeria or Ivory Coast in the semi-finals.
Gueye could have had a second goal 12 minutes later with a similar surging run from midfield, but was pulled back by Benin defender Olivier Verdon, who was promptly sent off. Mané had the ball in the net twice but was offside on both occasions, verified by the VAR – being used in this tournament only from the quarter-finals onwards. The Liverpool forward also had an effort cleared off the line three minutes after Gueye’s opener.
Benin forward Mickael Pote missed the underdogs’ best chances, going narrowly wide with a cheeky backheel in the 26th minute and then hitting a tame effort straight at Senegal keeper Alfred Gomis in the second half. Senegal must wait until Thursday to find out who they will face in their first Afcon semi-final since 2006, with Tunisia and surprise packages Madagascar meeting in Cairo. Culled www.theguardian.com