Twenty-four (24) years after Tijani Babangida’s brace saw-off South Africa in their last Africa Cup of Nations semi-final appearance, both sides will meet again next Wednesday to decide one of the finalists for this year’s AFCON.
Babangida’s 1st and 34th-minute goals took care of business on that occasion in front of a packed stadium in Surulere, Lagos when Nigeria co-hosted with Ghana.
A brilliant penalty shoot-out performance by South Africa’s goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams helped South Africa fight off a dogged Cape Verde side while Nigeria defeated Angola 1-0 on Friday to set up the semi-final.
Although both sides have met in subsequent AFCONs, it has not been at the penultimate stage. In all the meetings, Nigeria has triumphed.
In Tunisia 2004, Nigeria saw off Bafana Bafana 4-0 in the group stage, while their last AFCON meeting was in 2019 in the quarter-finals when Egypt hosted. Samuel Chukwueze and Troost-Ekong’s goals helped Nigeria to a 2-1 win.
Ivory Coast and DR Congo complete the semi-final pairings.