Following the Super Eagles’ AFCON 2023 Semifinal match against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, head coach Jose Peseiro has explained why it was so hard for his team to secure victory before the final whistle.
Footballrover reported that Nigeria booked their ticket to the AFCON 2023 final after a hard-fought battle against South Africa, with coach Peseiro acknowledging the Bafana’s strong organisation as a key challenge.
The Super Eagles edged past their opponents 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation time at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake, on Wednesday night.
While applauding his team’s resilience, Peseiro highlighted the solid game plan of South Africa.
The encounter witnessed William Troost-Ekong converting a penalty for Nigeria in the 67th minute.
However, their lead was short-lived as Teboho Mokoena equalised from the spot for South Africa just three minutes before the final whistle.
Despite the setback, the Super Eagles held their nerve in the penalty shootout, converting four out of their five attempts.
Speaking to the media during his press conference, Jose Peseiro acknowledged that the South African team “plays together,” which made the mission challenging for his side.
“I said it earlier that South Africa has the best of organisation because they play together and they create more problems for us. It was very difficult to beat them,” he said.
Peseiro praised his team’s fighting spirit and their ability to overcome the organised South African defence.
“The players deserve to be in the final; it’s a very good victory against a good team,” Peseiro said.
Nigeria will now set their sights on the ultimate prize as they face host nation Ivory Coast in the final on Sunday.
The Super Eagles will be aiming to lift their fourth AFCON title, while Ivory Coast will be seeking their third continental crown.