The Federal Government has pledged to reward the Super Eagles for their dedication and commitment in advancing to the final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
In a hard-fought semi-final match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on Wednesday, the Nigerian team emerged victorious with a 4-2 penalty shootout win after a 1-1 draw in regular time.
Following the intense victory, Vice President Kashim Shettima, present at the match to support the Eagles, conveyed the government and people of Nigeria’s pride in their achievement during a visit to the players and officials in the dressing room.
This information was shared via a post on the Super Eagles X (formerly Twitter) handle on Thursday. Accompanying the Vice President to the Eagles’ dressing room after the game were Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Minister for Youth, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, Oil mogul Wale Tinubu, FIFA Council Member Amaju Pinnick, and NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau.
It was reported that substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored the deciding penalty in the shootout victory over South Africa on Wednesday after an Africa Cup of Nations semi-final thriller in Bouake.
The match finished 1-1 after extra time and the three-time champions will face hosts Ivory Coast or the Democratic Republic of Congo, who meet later, in the final on Sunday.
Both regular-time goals also came from penalties with captain William Troost-Ekong scoring after 67 minutes for Nigeria and Teboho Mokoena equalised from a 90th-minute spot-kick.
The Mokoena equaliser came after Nigeria thought they had scored a second goal through a tap-in from star forward Victor Osimhen.
But play was called back to the other end of the field after VAR alerted the Egyptian referee that South African Percy Tau had been fouled in the area, and the match official concurred.
Khuliso Mudau had a chance to win the South Africa in added time at the end of regular time, but blazed over after goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali parried a Mokoena free kick.
South Africa finished with 10 men when Grant Kekana was sent off on 115 minutes for a last-defender foul.
Nigeria entered the match with a perfect record against South Africa in the premier African football competition having won three previous meetings.