The Caf Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) semi-final between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria didn’t disappoint, with an electrifying tie between the two nations, which ended with a 4-2 win for the Super Eagles on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in the Ivory Coast.
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A lot of Bafana players raised their levels in this match and below, Phakaaathi rates their performances.
Ronwen Williams – 8.5/10
Williams was tested early in the game, but made a very good save from Ademola Lookman to keep the team in the match. He only conceded through a penalty taken by William Troost-Ekong. He didn’t have the same impact on the penalty shootout as he did against Cape Verde.
Mthobi Mvala – 7.5
Mvala played very well once again and he made sure to keep the Nigerian forwards at bay. But his biggest mistake in the match was a tackle on Victor Osimhen where he conceded a penalty in the 65th minute.
Grant Kekana – 7.5
Kekana was disciplined at the back, and made a number of interceptionso deny the Super Eagles from getting closer to Ronwen Williams. He sacrificed himself for the team in extra time, getting a red card after a professional foul on Terem Moffi.
Aubrey Modiba – 7
There were barely any threats from Nigeria on Bafana’s left hand side, which gave Modiba a chance to go forward. And whenever he was needed in defence, Modiba was always there.
Siyanda Xulu – 7
Xulu kept his position well at the back, and made a number of good blocks, especially from a Victor Osimhen chance early in the second half. He played better than in his first game against Mali.
Sphephelo Sithole – 7
Won most of the balls in midfield, and was also involved in the build-ups for attacks. He showed very good strength against the Nigerian midfielders and made some brilliant surging runs forward.
Teboho Mokoena – 7.5
His mobility worked well for him in midfield, as he managed to add more numbers going forward. He scored the equalising goal for Bafana through a well taken penalty, and his free kick was then spilt by Stanley Nwabili to present a gilt-edged opportunity that Khuliso Mudau missed. Mokoena then wasn’t able to convert his penalty in the shootout.
Khuliso Mudau – 8.5 – Man-of-the-Match
Mudau was a menace for Nigeria left-back Chinedu Calvin, who found himself most of the time being outrun by the Bafana player. He also made some good crosses that were a threat to the Super Eagles. Mudau was probably Bafana’s best player going forward in this game, but he was let down when he missed a golden opportunity he got from a Mokoena set-piece rebound in the dying minutes of regular time.
Percy Tau – 7
Could have done better with an excellent first half opportunity, shooting straight at Nwabili and then had a poor first touch after being sent clean through by. He did win the penalty that Bafana got late in the game.
Themba Zwane – 7
His creativity was once again key for Bafana. The experienced midfielder led most of the attacks for the team that ended up in goalscoring chances.
Evidence Makgopa – 8
Managed to open spaces for himself and got to link with his midfielders and also helped the in defence. There were instances where he could have taken shots early in the game, but his execution was letting him down. He did see one well-curled shot saved by Stanley Nwabali in the 38th minute. He gave the opposition a tough time. Also missed his penalty in the shootout.
Got on in the 75th minute to replace Themba Zwane. He tried his best to get Bafana’s second goal of the match in extra-time, but was not lucky.
He came in for Siyanda Xulu, at the same time time as Lepasa. He saw a lot of ball and had some good touches. But he wasn’t given chances to penetrate the Nigerian defence. He did score his penalty in the shootout.
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Replaced another substitute Zakhele Lepasa in the 106th minute to help in defence after Grant Kekana got a red card.