William Troost-Ekong scored a dramatic late winner to send Nigeria into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final at the expense of South Africa.

Samuel Chukwueze hit the opener as he controlled Alex Iwobi’s cross, before scoring at the second attempt.

Bongani Zungu equalised with a header initially ruled out for offside before VAR replays showed a free-kick hit a Nigerian player on the way to him.

But Udinese’s Troost-Ekong bundled home from close range late on to win it.

His finish was into an empty net after goalkeeper Ronwen Williams totally missed Moses Simon’s corner.

Nigeria face Ivory Coast or Algeria in Sunday’s second semi-final (20:00 BST).

The Super Eagles were deserved winners and led through Villarreal youngster Chukwueze’s first goal for his country. They should have been ahead by more when Williams pushed Peter Etebo’s free-kick onto the bar.

Zungu’s goal was the first in the Africa Cup of Nations given by the VAR, which has just been introduced for the quarter-finals. It looked offside initially but Percy Tau’s free-kick hit Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo on the way on to Amiens midfielder Zungu’s head.

The game looked set for extra time before Williams flapped at a cross to leave Troost-Ekong with a simple finish.

Senegal, who beat Benin 1-0 earlier on Wednesday, play either Madagascar or Tunisia in the other semi-final.

Line-ups

Nigeria

  • 16Akpeyi
  • 20Awaziem
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 22Omeruo
  • 3Collins
  • 8Etebo
  • 4Ndidi
  • 13Chukwueze
  • 18IwobiSubstituted forBalogunat 90+1′minutes
  • 7MusaBooked at 35minsSubstituted forSimonat 81′minutes
  • 9Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 1Ezenwa
  • 2Aina
  • 6Balogun
  • 10Mikel
  • 11Onyekuru
  • 12Shehu
  • 14Onuachu
  • 15Simon
  • 17Kalu
  • 19Ogu
  • 21Osimhen
  • 23Uzoho

South Africa

  • 22Williams
  • 5MkhizeBooked at 75mins
  • 14HlatshwayoBooked at 49mins
  • 2Mkhwanazi
  • 18Hlanti
  • 8Zungu
  • 15Furman
  • 12Mokotjo
  • 19TauBooked at 62mins
  • 9MothibaBooked at 14minsSubstituted forVeldwijkat 86′minutes
  • 23LorchSubstituted forZwaneat 58′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Keet
  • 3Maela
  • 4Cardoso
  • 6Mphahlele
  • 7Maboe
  • 10Serero
  • 11Zwane
  • 13Mabunda
  • 16Bvuma
  • 17Vilakazi
  • 20Kekana
  • 21Veldwijk
Referee:
Rédouane Jiyed

Match Stats

Home TeamNigeriaAway TeamSouth Africa
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home11
Away5
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home22
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Nigeria 2, South Africa 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Nigeria 2, South Africa 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Nigeria. Leon Balogun replaces Alex Iwobi.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Ronwen Williams.

Attempt saved. Odion Ighalo (Nigeria) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Samuel Chukwueze.

Goal!

Goal! Nigeria 2, South Africa 1. William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Moses Simon with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Bongani Zungu.

Attempt blocked. Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria) header from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Moses Simon with a cross.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Foul by Lars Veldwijk (South Africa).

Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Percy Tau (South Africa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamilu Collins (Nigeria).

Buhle Mkhwanazi (South Africa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Odion Ighalo (Nigeria).

Substitution

Substitution, South Africa. Lars Veldwijk replaces Lebo Mothiba.

Foul by Lebo Mothiba (South Africa).

Moses Simon (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Percy Tau (South Africa) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Lebo Mothiba.

Hand ball by Lebo Mothiba (South Africa).

Ronwen Williams (South Africa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria).

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Thamsanqa Mkhize.

Percy Tau (South Africa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamilu Collins (Nigeria).

Substitution

Substitution, Nigeria. Moses Simon replaces Ahmed Musa.

Attempt missed. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Samuel Chukwueze.

Percy Tau (South Africa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Peter Etebo (Nigeria).

Booking

Thamsanqa Mkhize (South Africa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Thamsanqa Mkhize (South Africa).

Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Themba Zwane (South Africa).

William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

VAR: Goal. Referee decision on field cancelled.

Delay in match (South Africa). VAR checking.

Goal!

Goal! Nigeria 1, South Africa 1. Bongani Zungu (South Africa) header from the left side of the six yard box to the top right corner following a set piece situation.

Themba Zwane (South Africa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria).