The last time these sides met, William Troost-Ekong scored a dramatic late winner to send Nigeria into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. This time around, Bafana Bafana will be looking to avenge that defeat, with a spot in the AFCON finals up for grabs!

To win (90 min)
 Nigeria 13/20  
 Draw 23/10
 South Africa 9/2 


Nigeria currently sit 42nd in the FIFA rankings, some 24 places above their South African counterparts, ahead of their semi-final clash. With that being said, Jose Peseiro will be confident of securing a first AFCON final spot in 11 years, although will be dealt a hammer blow if Osimhen is not deemed fit enough to feature.

The African footballer of the year has started all of the Super Eagles’ five Africa Cup of Nations matches, scoring and assisting once, but was stretchered off in stoppage time of their 1-0 win over Angola in the quarter-finals. Prior to being substituted, the Napoli hitman thought he sealed the win via his header from Lookman’s free-kick, only for VAR to intervene.

A statement released on the Super Eagles’ X account read, “Members of the team travelled from Abidjan to Bouaké today via a 10pm Air Cote D’Ivoire flight. Osimhen did not however make the trip as a result of an abdominal discomfort. Team medics confirmed that he has been placed under close watch with a member of the medical team staying behind in Abidjan with him.”. Nigeria have won AFCON three times and last tasted continental glory in 2013, when they beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final. Their twenty-five year old striker has been pivotal to their tournament success hitherto and his omission may just open the door for his opponents.


Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams stole the show in the quarters! The Mamelodi Sundowns based shot stopper saved four penalties to help South Africa reach the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, following a goalless draw with Cape Verde.

Head coach Hugo Broos successfully trusted in unchanged starting selections for each of his side’s past four matches. His consistency has undoubtedly led them to the semi-finals, with a handful of big name players heading the call of their nation. Themba ‘Mshishi’ Zwane recorded back to back MOTM performances, Captain fantastic Ronwen Williams comes into this one on the back of four consecutive AFCON clean sheets and ‘defensive midfielder’ Teboho Mokoena has attempted nine shots across his two knockout stage appearances.

The mentality of Bafana Bafana has shown itself time and time again. Following opening day defeat by the hands of Mali, Broos went on to applaud his players. It was a respectable performance from South Africa, who conceded two goals in six minutes in that one. Indeed, their defensive unit is yet to be impeached following that one. The task could be far trickier against their next opponents, who are in the semifinals for the 13th time in 15 Afcon appearances!

PREDICTION: South Africa to take it !

Looking at their previous five competitive fixtures, either side has taken one a piece with the remaining three ending in stalemates. The most recent game looked set for extra time before Troost-Ekong pounced. In a game of fine margins, I expect this new look Bafana Bafana outfit to advance to the AFCON finals.

Written by Desh Parthab