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Defeated South Africa in anxious 24 hour wait



South Africa’s Amajimbos who dramatically lost 2-3 after twice taking the lead in their encounter with Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets are anxiously waiting for the result from Group C this Sunday.


The outcome of the Burkina Faso versus Cameroon will determine whether they can squeeze to the quarter finals as one of the two best third placed teams.

Both Burkina Faso and Cameroon are without any point at the moment. But they have played just a match each after the fourth team in the group, South Sudan got disqualified.

The Group B had a near photo-finish when Nigeria staged a  remarkable fightback against South Africa and Zambia did the same against Morocco.

Abubakar Abdullahi scored the winner for the Golden Eaglets to clinch maximum points and finish second in Group B, behind group winners Morocco.


South Africa are third on three points. The Amajimbos had a brilliant start and they got into the lead after six minutes when Vicky Mkhawana shot low into the net after Waylon Renecke’s header from Gabriel Amato’s corner came off the post.

But, Nigeria constantly camped in South Africa’s half, forcing them to defend deep as they sought an equalizer. Abdullahi placed the ball marginally wide one on one with the keeper while Charles Agada had a goal disallowed for offside.

The pressure finally bore fruit in the 33rd minute when Agada equalized with a header after a corner was brushed to his path unmarked at the backpost.

At the stroke of halftime, South Africa keeper Gennaro Johnson made a good save with his foot to denby Abdullahi one on one with a volley inside the box.

In the second minute of added time, South Africa retook the lead with some brilliant piece of individual brilliance from Siyabonga Mabena.


The Mamelodi Sundowns man picked the ball on the left before taking on two markers and unleashing a belter of a shot that came off the underside of the bar and beyond the line.

Nonetheless, the Nigerians drew level once again just seconds into the second half when Light Eke tapped home inside the box after a cross from Agada off a good run on the right found him well placed.

They scored the winner in the 65th minute when Abdullahi sneaked in between the two central defenders to extend a foot and direct Emmanuel Michael’s cross into the net.

South Africa tried to turn in some effort to get back on level terms, but Nigeria defended well, and could have even extended their lead with Abdullahi having a shot come off the bar.

As runners up, Nigeria will now take on the second placed team from Group C.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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