The Super Eagles will play in the semifinal of the African Cup of Nations, after beating South Africa 2-1 on Wednesday.
Samuel Chukwueze gave the Nigerians the lead in the first half before Bongani Zungu moved up to South Africa after a decision by VAR. William Troost-Ekong scored the winner in the final seconds of the game.
So, what are the five things we learned from the game?
1. Chukwueze is a star: that’s the first thing that comes to mind after watching 90 minutes of that game. Villarreal was a constant threat to the South Africans at all times, with their zippy moves and their velvet dribbling skills. I’m glad that Governor Rohr chose him and also scored his first goal for Nigeria.
2. Musa still does not justify his selection: before this game, Rohr continued talking about Musa’s experience, as the reason why he is selecting the end of Al Nassr in front of Henry Onyekuru.
But once again, Musa did not come to the party. It was all rhythm and without a final product. Musa is the reason why the Super Eagles were not lost from sight for half time.
3. VAR almost takes the headlines: As soon as Zungu went to 1-1, practically everyone shouted out of the game. The line judges waved their flag, while the midfielder walked away.
But the VAR, which comes into play from the quarterfinals, had another look and saw that the ball went out of Ighalo’s back.
4. South Africa is not all that: credit for Rohr, he created his team to nullify Bafana Bafana and make them ineffective in his excellent counterattack style. Although there were times when they threatened to overthrow Nigeria, the Eagles defense stood its ground.
5. Next, Ivory Coast or Algeria: Nigeria will not face the winner of the quarterfinal clash between Côte d’Ivoire and Algeria. They are likely North Africans, as they have been sensational throughout the tournament. It’s time to rest and prepare for the next awkward encounter.