ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast —
Kelechi Iheanacho converted the decisive penalty that put Nigeria into the final of the African Cup of Nations, winning 4-2 in a 12-point shootout against South Africa on Wednesday after their semifinal ended 1-1 after extra time.
South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was unable to repeat his heroic performance in a penalty shoot-out. Williams had made four saves to beat Cape Verde in the quarterfinals.
His Nigerian counterpart Stanley Nwabali saved two penalties to eliminate Bafana Bafana. He dived to the left to repel Teboho Mokoena’s shot and then contained Evidence Makgopa’s shot into the middle.
Three-time continental champions Nigeria will face hosts Ivory Coast or Congo in Sunday’s final. The second semi-final was played in the second hour.
The match in Bouaké had barely started when star Victor Osimhen showed physical problems. The Italian Serie A Napoli forward was a doubt before the match due to abdominal pain but he was able to continue after a brief pause.
South Africa dominated possession and created more chances in the first half.
The Nigerians took the lead midway through the second half when Mothobi Mvala earned a penalty for a foul on Osimhen.
Nigerian captain William Troost-Ekong coolly finished down the middle in the 67th, although Williams almost stopped him with his legs.
Mokoena scored a penalty to tie the score in the 90th and Khuliso Mudau wasted a goal that would have given South Africa the victory in stoppage time.