CAIRO (AFP) - William Troost-Ekong s late winner sent Nigeria thru to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of nations on Wednesday after a traumatic 2-1 victory over South Africa in Cairo.

Samuel Chukwueze fired the first rate Eagles in advance inside the first half of in the front of a healthful, in large part pro-Nigerian crowd at the 75,000-capacity Cairo global Stadium.

but Bongani Zungu s looping header introduced South Africa level on 70 minutes, the purpose provided with the resource of VAR -- brought for the primary time at the event from the zone-very last level onwards -- after it was to begin with dominated out for offside.

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Centre-lower back Troost-Ekong then turned home at a nook a minute from time to set three-time champions Nigeria up with a conflict towards Algeria or Ivory Coast for a niche in the July 19 final.

"We were lucky in the end to score this 2d purpose because inside the 2nd half of South Africa played a whole lot better," stated Nigeria instruct Gernot Rohr.

"We re glad, we need to get better properly because the next recreation, either Algeria or Ivory Coast might be very hard also."

South Africa boss Stuart Baxter admitted the character of the defeat changed into difficult to digest.

"It s difficult whilst you ve lost a game within the loss of life mins, it s tough to find positives. I m certain in a single week s time i can locate a few positives, however at this second I m finding it very tough," he said.

Left-back Jamilu Collins made his first appearance in Egypt after shaking off a pre-event damage while Villarreal forward Chukwueze came in for Moses Simon in the Nigerian attack.

Baxter stuck with the equal facet that stunned hosts Egypt inside the final round, as match-winner Thembinkosi Lorch retained his vicinity notwithstanding Themba Zwane s return from suspension.

Rohr had counseled South Africa had been favourites inside the construct-up following their defeat of the file seven-time champions, a tag Baxter right away rejected with Bafana Bafana s lone aggressive win over Nigeria coming in qualifying for these finals.

Odion Ighalo s goals have been the riding force in the back of Nigeria s run right here but it became rising young ahead Chukwueze, coming off a strong debut season in Spain s top flight, who struck just before the half-hour to end the deadlock.

Alex Iwobi skipped beyond more than one defenders down the left before pulling again for Chukwueze, who swept into the corner as the ball trickled returned his manner after a primary shot changed into blocked.

Following a stodgy first half Nigeria seemed the far sharper after the wreck, Peter Etebo damn the crossbar with a extremely good 25-yard unfastened-kick destined for the pinnacle corner however for the fingertips of Ronwen Williams.

a number of promising assaults fizzled out for Nigeria and their lack of precision came again to haunt them while Zungu hauled South Africa stage, nodding again across purpose after a Percy Tau set-piece became shown upon a video overview to have been flicked on by using Ighalo.

but after their beautiful removal of Mohamed Salah s Egypt there has been to be no comply with-up act from South Africa as Williams flapped at an inswinging corner and Troost-Ekong pressured over the line together with his knee to clinch victory for Nigeria.