By Akinwale Kasali
It could have been a dream year for the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, if it had defeated Nigeria In the Quarter Final of the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations championship, having defeated Africa powerhouse, Egypt, in the Round of 16.
Sadly, the fairytale journey of the coach Stuart Baxter side came to an end, as it lost 2-1 to its foe, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, in a highly tensed match.
Nigeria took the lead in the 26th minute through Samuel Chukwueze, who registered his first goal at the tournament to put the three time champions ahead.
It was Alex Iwobi who set up Chukwueze to score the opener at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt, to the excitement of the vociferous fans of Nigeria.
The Super Eagles took the lead into the break.
On resumption of the second half of the contest, Nigeria continued its dominance, squandering good scoring opportunities to extend its lead.
The Bafana Bafana got the deserved equaliser courtesy of Fredericks Zungu from a set-piece lobbed inside the 18-yard box by Percy Tau.
The goal became controversial as the linesman had raised the flag for an offside, forcing the Moroccan referee to consult the Video Assistant Referee, VAR.
The goal stood. forcing the Super Eagles to go back to the drawing board to restrategise.
The South Africans were expecting the game to go into extra time, but the Super Eagles had a different opinion.
A last gasp William Troost Ekong’s goal from a corner by Moses Simon gave the Super Eagles the victory.
With this triumph, the Super Eagles will face the winner of the match between Ivory Coast and Algeria in the semi finals on Sunday 14th July, 2019, at the Cairo International Stadium.