Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Nigeria vs. South Africa score, result, highlights as Super Eagles reach AFCON final after penalty shootout – Sporting News


Every time it feels like the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has finally emptied the drama tank, there’s been something left to thrill the fans.
On the brink of elimination, Nigeria put themselves instead on the cusp of glory as the Super Eagles nudged past South Africa into the AFCON final, advancing through the semifinals on a penalty shootout after a 1-1 regulation draw.
After 85 minutes of a hard-fought, back-and-forth affair where Nigeria led 1-0 despite chances on both ends, it appeared the Super Eagles had put the match away as Victor Osimhen’s goal put them 2-0 up with just a few minutes remaining. Yet VAR turned the match on its head, not only disallowing Osimhen’s goal, but pulling play back for a foul in the Nigeria penalty area that awarded South Africa a chance to equalize from the spot.
Teboho Mokoena would do just that, bringing Bafana Bafana level with just minutes remaining. Then, in the final minute of added time, Khuliso Mudau had a wide-open opportunity to snatch a dramatic, last-gasp winner and put South Africa through. Instead, he skied the chance, and Nigeria survived by a whisker, the match heading to extra-time.
After a goal-less 30 minutes, it advanced to a penalty shootout, where Ronwen Williams couldn’t quite duplicate his quarterfinal heroics. Nigeria would advance 4-2 as Kelechi Iheanacho deposited a wonderful effort to seal the Super Eagles’ place in the final. Super Eagles captain William Troost-Ekong was the hero for Nigeria, hitting from the penalty spot early in the second half and again in the shootout, but it was a total team effort overall, with the likes of Ola Aina impressing on both ends of the pitch and Victor Osimhen coming so close on multiple occasions.
The final is on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET and is televised in the United States by beIN Sports, with both English-language and Spanish-language broadcasts available. The final will be broadcast on television, with both channels available to stream on Fubo USA, which offers a free trial.
WATCH: Africa Cup of Nations Final on Fubo
The Sporting News followed the Nigeria vs. South Africa match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local (12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT)
Location: Stade de la Paix Stadium (Bouake, Ivory Coast)
Referee: Amin Omar (EGY)

Starting lineups:
Nigeria (3-4-3, right to left): 23. Nwabali (GK) — 6. Ajayi, 5. Troost-Ekong, 21. Bassey — 12. Osayi-Samuel, 8. Onyeka (Aribo, 102′), 17. Iwobi (Yusuf, 62′), 6. Aina — 15. Simon (Chukwueze, 62′), 9. Osimhen (Moffi, 110′), 18. Lookman (Iheanacho, 101′).
South Africa (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. R. Williams (GK) — 20. Muadu, 18. Kekana (red card, 111′), 5. Xulu (Mayambela, 75′), 14. Mvala — 4. Mokoena, 13. Sithole — 6. Modeba, 11. Zwane (Lepasa, 75′ — Sibisi, 117′), 10. Tau — 9. Makgopa.
MORE: Africa Cup of Nations full schedule and results
The two best goalkeepers at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will do battle in a penalty shootout! Ronwen Williams has already established himself as a hero with four saves against Cape Verde, but Stanley Nwabali has been excellent all competition as well.
After the coin toss, it’s decided that Nigeria will shoot first.
Nigeria: SCORES! To win it for the Super Eagles, Kelechi Iheanacho steps up to take, and he does the job brilliantly! Ronwen Williams guesses the right way, but the effort is perfectly placed, pinged off the inside of the right post! Nigeria are through to the final!
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Kelechi Iheanacho sends Nigeria into the AFCON final! 🥳🇳🇬
Nigeria: SCORES! William Troost-Ekong scored a penalty earlier, and he gives Ronwen Williams no chance here, blasting it inches inside the left post. Nigeria are on the brink, South Africa must score!
South Africa: SCORES! To keep South Africa alive, it’s Mothobi Mvala, and he sends Stanley Nwabali the wrong way!
Nigeria: MISS! Ola Aina was fantastic in this match, but he skies his effort miles over the crossbar! It’s an awful take, and South Africa have a chance to get back level!
South Africa: SAVED! Stanley Nwabali has done it again, denying Evidence Makgopa! The effort is just slightly to the goalkeeper’s right, very easy to stop and telegraphed the whole way!
Nigeria: SCORES! A stutter-step run-up from Kenneth Omeruo wrong-foots Ronwen Williams, and Nigeria are in command!
South Africa: SCORES! Stanley Nwabali went the right way, but Mihlali Mayambela tucks it inside the post!
Nigeria: SCORES! Stepping up first is the substitute Terem Moffi, having come on for Victor Osimhen in extra-time. Osimhen will not get to take a penalty, which is a big call from the Super Eagles coaching staff. In his place, Moffi readies himself, and goes down the middle for the opener!
South Africa: SAVED! First for South Africa is Teboho Mokoena, who struck from the spot earlier in the match, but Stanley Nwabali is up to the task!
120+1 min: Nigeria head coach Jose Peseiro is making another controversial decision, withdrawing Bright Osayi-Samuel to bring on Kenneth Omeruo. It’s a classic case of bringing on a player solely to take a penalty, as the change comes just seconds before the full-time whistle!
120th min: Yellow card to William Troost-Ekong who yanks Mihlali Mayambela down before the South Africa substitute can counter-attack. It’s a professional foul as he absorbs a booking to prevent Bafana Bafana from breaking away.
Two minutes of added time are shown, which feels a bit low given how long the recent VAR review for the red card took.
111th min: HUGE CALL BY THE REFEREE! Terem Moffi is brought down by Gomolemo Kekana while on the break free on goal, but the official waves off any appeal! There’s a VAR check for a possible penalty, but the challenge happened outside the penalty area, so will VAR intervene? That appears to be a big miss by Egyptian official Amin Omar, as it definitely appeared that there was enough contact for a potential last-man foul!
VAR gives it a look, and sure enough, RED CARD! Kekana doesn’t get a touch on the ball, and brings Moffi down! It’s a last-man foul, and South Africa are down to 10 men! South Africa make an immediate change to accommodate the turn of events, as Zakhele Lepasa, only just on as a second-half substitute, is sacrificed for captain Nkosinathi Sibisi.
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RED CARD for Grant Kekana! 🟥
110th min: With 10 minutes to go before a penalty shootout, Nigeria head coach Jose Peseiro makes a HUGE call by giving Victor Osimhen the hook, bringing on Nice striker Terem Moffi in his place. Moffi is only in the squad thanks to the injury to Victor Boniface, can he be a hero here? Will Peseiro regret hauling Osimhen off with a possible penalty shootout looming?
106th min: Chance, Nigeria! Osimhen puts a third headed chance of the match off target on a feed from Ola Aina! He puts it over the crossbar despite leaping high over Gomolemo Kekana! The previous two were difficult opportunities given the defensive positioning, but this one he had lots of height on the leap and should have been able to get on top of the ball!
HALFTIME: Nigeria were exceptional in that 15 minutes, and had a few half-chances up front, but still can’t get by Ronwen Williams and this South Africa back line from open play.
103rd min: Whoa! Ronwen Williams was way off his line, and if not for an intervention from at the last moment from Mothobi Mvala, it would have been an easy goal for Victor Osimhen into an open net!
101st min: Chance, Nigeria! Ronwen Williams denies Victor Osimhen again! The South African goalkeeper has been incredible all tournament, and he dives low to his left to stop the effort from distance. It was a weak attempt overall, despite Osimhen having done extremely well to create a small window of space between two defenders.
In the aftermath, the first yellow card of the match has been shown to Frank Onyeka for…who knows what. The Super Eagles make another pair of changes, with Kelechi Iheanacho and Joe Aribo come on with Jose Peseiro going for the win here in extra-time, hoping to avoid a penalty shootout. They replace Ademola Lookman and the recently booked Onyeka, both of whom were excellent today.
93rd min: Chance, Nigeria! Minutes into the beginning of extra-time, Ademola Lookman forces a save by Ronwen Williams! The South Africa goalkeeper holds firm at his near post, getting his left hand to the shot from Lookman from a tight angle across the face of goal. These sides haven’t let off the gas as the clock continues to tick over.
The end of this match has been truly sensational! Victor Osimhen and Nigeria thought they’d put the game away in the 85th minute, but instead VAR nullified the goal and awarded South Africa a penalty! Then, it appeared South Africa were in position to win it with the last kick of the game, but Khuliso Mudau missed with the goal gaping!
The Africa Cup of Nations continues to provide thrills and spills, and we have another 30 minutes to go to find a winner before a potential penalty shootout.
Khuliso Mudau missed this chance that could have given South Africa the lead 😳
Teboho Mokoena fires a laser of a free-kick on the Nigeria goal, and while Stanley Nwabali makes the save, he can only punch it right into the path of Khuliso Mudau, who is free from the Nigerian defenders and has the goalkeeper on the ground. With the entire goal to shoot at from about six yards out, HE RIFLES IT OVER THE CROSSBAR! The South Africa bench is in disbelief! That was the winner!
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With SECONDS remaining, Khuliso Mudau has a HUGE chance to win it for South Africa but sends it over the bar! 😨
90+4 min: South Africa, buoyed by their late heroics, are throwing everyone forward to try and win this in regulation! They’re pummeling Nigeria here with six minutes of added time shown. There will likely be a few more than that, as a couple of tired legs in the South Africa squad are causing a few injury delays.
85th min: Chance, Nigeria! The Super Eagles will go through to the final, as Victor Osimhen finishes off another deadly Nigeria move forward! It comes on the counter-attack, as Ademola Lookman runs it right up the gut. He feeds Bright Osayi-Samuel vertically down the right, and he gets it across to Osimhen all alone from point-blank range for the tap-in.
BUT WAIT!!!! There’s a VAR check, and the moment has been completely turned upside down! Video review has spotted a foul all the way down the other end and the official will go to the monitor! Percy Tau appears to be fouled by Alhassan Yusuf right on the upper edge of the penalty area, and the referee agrees!
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84th min: Chance, Nigeria! Incredible stop by Ronwen Williams again with Ademola Lookman clean through on goal! The Nigeria forward is all alone after a vertical ball unlocks the South Africa defense, but Williams comes off his line and snatches the ball right off Lookman as he tried to round the goalkeeper.
75th min: Chance, South Africa! OH NO! There’s the chance to equalize, but Evidence Makgopa puts it wide! He clowns his defender William Troost-Ekong by touching laterally to his right inside the top of the penalty area, and with the space created has the far post wide open to shoot at, but he rifles it off target! Bafana Bafana have done so well to create a few glorious chances, but have come up empty finishing them off!
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South Africa ALMOST equalise with a brilliant effort from Evidence Makgopa that goes just wide of the post 🤏
72nd min: It has been all Nigeria since the halftime break, and South Africa will need to do something to turn the tide. They are under relentless pressure from the Super Eagles, but head coach Hugo Broos has yet to make a change. South Africa had the better first 45 minutes, but they are on the precipice here, and will need to bring on fresh legs as soon as possible.
64th min: PENALTY, NIGERIA! Victor Osimhen wins a penalty on the edge of the 18-yard box, and the Super Eagles have a chance to take the lead! He produces a series of beautiful ball skills that draws four South African defenders, and Mothobi Mvala lunges in but only tumbles Osimhen to the ground.
It’s a moronic challenge as Osimhen was hemmed in out wide and had nowhere but vertical to go, and did not need to step in so rashly.
Stepping up to the spot is the captain William Troost-Ekong, and against Bafana Bafana hero Ronwen Williams…GOAL! NIGERIA! Williams saved four efforts against Cape Verde in the shootout, but he is second-best here, as Troost-Ekong goes straight down the middle, and the goalkeeper can only watch helplessly as he dives to his left.
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El CAPITÁN William Ekong COBRÁ de forma EFECTIVA su penal y adelanta a su país en el partido 🔥

Nigeria 🇳🇬 vs Sudáfrica 🇿🇦 EN VIVO ahora en #beINSPORTS 📺#NGRRSA
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A penalty from William Troost-Ekong puts Nigeria in front in the semi-final! 🇳🇬
62nd min: Nigeria have another effort go begging, as Alex Iwobi sets up Frank Onyeka for a shot from distance, but the Brentford midfielder rushes it, hitting it first-time instead of taking a touch to settle, and he lashes it miles wide, nowhere close.
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro smells blood in the water, and makes a pair of attacking changes, withdrawing Moses Simon and Alex Iwobi and bringing on Samuel Chukwueze and Alhassan Yusuf. Bringing Chukwueze on for Simon makes sense, as the latter was not terribly involved up front, but withdrawing Iwobi is highly questionable, as the Fulham midfielder has been exceptional all tournament, including today.
57th min: Another header for Victor Osimhen goes wide of the net! He leaps high enough to connect with another cross from deep, but he’s put under enough pressure by a defender that he can’t quite get the right contact. The Super Eagles have come out of halftime with real intent!
50th min: Nigeria have put South Africa under real pressure to start the half, they are pummeling the penalty area with crosses and set-piece deliveries, but to no joy so far, as Bafana Bafana continually reject their advances.
Kickoff: They’re under way after the break! No substitutions for either side, as both head coaches keep the faith in their starters.
A pulsating first half saw both goalkeepers involved, and both stood tall to the opposing forwards.
South Africa will be far more pleased with their opportunities, creating multiple dangerous chances on the break and only kept out by a poor Percy Tau finish and one sensational save by Stanley Nwabali.
Nigeria struggled to generate opportunities despite a strong possessional dominance, but they did have a few moments of quality. The final 45 minutes will be thrilling, it feels like.
Some Percy poses from the first half! Nigeria 🇳🇬 vs South Africa 🇿🇦 #TotalEnergiesAFCON2023 #AFCON2023 #BafanaPride
45th min: Chance, Nigeria! Victor Osimhen fires wide of the far post! Ademola Lookman carried the ball into the area and crosses to Osimhen whose header is put off target. That’s a big chance!
Two minutes of added time are shown.
39th min: Chance, South Africa! WHAT A SAVE BY STANLEY NWABALI! He dives full-stretch to his left for a one-handed stop from Evidence Makgopa’s effort! It’s a well-struck ball from straight-on, bending away from the Nigerian goalkeeper, but he launches his body within range for the save. We expected a goalkeeper battle, and we’re getting one!
37th min: Chance, Nigeria! Alex Iwobi goes for the spectacular from distance, and he puts the effort on target, but it’s elementary for Ronwen Williams who goes down one knee to make the low stop. Victor Osimhen is animated at the top of the six-yard box, frustrated that Iwobi didn’t instead feed him for the chance as the Napoli striker was isolated with one defender on the doorstep.
35th min: Oh no, Percy Tau has botched another breakaway chance! He’s free on goal from midfield after a gift from Bright Osayi-Samuel, but a heavy touch as he enters the penalty area betrays him and the ball rolls harmlessly to Stanley Nwabali. It’s another chance gone begging for the Bafana Bafana vet!
32nd min: There’s a cooling break, and the juxtiposition of the two coaches is stark. Nigeria head coach Jose Peseiro is extremely animated as he barks instructions to his squad, while South Africa boss Hugo Broos is measured in his approach. The latter will probably be pleased with the proceedings to this point.
29th min: Chance, South Africa! PERCY TAU SCUFFS A GLORIOUS CHANCE TO GO IN FRONT! The best chance yet falls to the South African veteran who you’d expect to finish that off, but with the entire goal to shoot at, he picks out a horrible effort and sends a weak slow-roller right at Stanley Nwabali. What a missed opportunity!
27th min: South Africa have two dangerous counter-attacks in two minutes, but both are cut out by a pair of exceptional sliding challenges by Semi Ajayi and Frank Onyeka who block crosses before they can reach Bafana Bafana forwards running free on goal. Heroic!
24th min: Nigeria have a free-kick taken by Ademola Lookman, but as he tries to feed it to the face of goal, the ball is snatched by Ronwen Williams before Semi Ajayi can get his head to it.
15th min: Chance, South Africa! Bafana Bafana are flowing on the counter through Percy Tau, but Sphephelo Sithole’s finish is poor, hit right at Stanley Nwabali who has no difficulties collecting the ball. A seeker to either corner would have been the opener, so that’s a disappointing end product.
14th min: The Super Eagles create another chance as Ola Aina’s delivery to the far post was extremely dangerous, but Ronwen Williams does brilliantly to launch himself into the mix and punch the chance away. He pummels William Troost-Ekong in the process, and the Nigerian defender is slow to his feet, but continues without treatment.
9th min: Nigeria have been on the front foot from the opening whistle, but haven’t yet created any good chances outside of the initial one for Osimhen seconds into the game. Alex Iwobi looked to find a number of individuals who were in space up front but can’t execute his entry pass across the pitch laterally.
1st min: Wow, a turn of events just 40 seconds into the match. Victor Osimhen had a good chance to get on the scoresheet less than a minute in, but as he settles the ball off his chest, it gets away from him.
As the chance evaporates, he goes down clutching his stomach, in clear pain and needing treatment. Osimhen was a doubt through the week with an abdominal injury, and it’s clearly bothering him here. He continues for now, but that will be one to watch. Hard to imagine he could go 90 or 120 minutes if he’s carrying an injury of such significance.
Kickoff: They’re under way at in the AFCON semifinals! The first finalist will be decided today, while one hopeful will fall just short.
There’s a lot of conversation around the optics of this match, with a perceived political and cultural rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa. Most recently, South African singer Tyla won a Grammy over Davido of Nigeria in the global category, which has increased tensions between the two sides. Over the next 90 minutes, another notch in that clash will be awarded!
National anthems in Bouake!

🇳🇬 vs 🇿🇦 #AFCON2023 #CAN2023
15 mins to kickoff: South Africa know what’s at stake, but they’re in high spirits despite their status as clear underdogs against established African power Nigeria. Kickoff is in mere minutes, with a spot in the final on the line!
This road travelled, with this family unit, for this quest has not only been for us. It’s for our country, our families and the 62 million who like we, BELIEVE! Thank you South Africa 🇿🇦 for the ❤️ #semifinal #TotalEnergiesAFCON2023 #AfCON2023 #BafanaPride
30 mins to kickoff: Stanley Nwabali isn’t the only in-form goalkeeper to take part in this match. His counterpart, Ronwen Williams of South Africa, has been sensational at the Africa Cup of Nations as well. He has four clean sheets to his name this competition, tied with Nwabali for the tournament lead and the most for any South African goalkeeper at AFCON ever, tied with Andre Arendse in 1996 who led Bafana Bafana to the title on home soil.

Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams is confident that South Africa is ready to battle for the #AFCON2023 final spot when they take on rivals Nigeria this evening. #FARPost#TotalEnergiesAFCON2023
45 mins to kickoff: The South Africa lineup is in, and they also make just one change, as Thapelo Morena comes out, replaced by central defender Siyanda Xulu in a defensive swap. It moves either Mothobi Mvala or Gomolemo Kekana out to full-back, and one of the wide defenders is pushed up into a more attacking role.
4 – South Africa are playing in their fourth semi-final at the @caf_online Africa Cup of Nations and their first since 2000 when they were eliminated by today’s opponents Nigeria (2-0). The Bafana Bafana are hoping to reach their first AFCON final since 1998 (lost 2-0 against…
1 hour to kickoff: This is a special matchup for Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, who plays for South African club Chippa United. He even has the support of Chippa United chairman Siviwe Chippa Mpengesi, who publicly declared he was backing Nigeria against his own country in this match!
Nwabali has a chance to secure himself as the frontrunner for the Best Goalkeeper award at this tournament. He has kept four straight clean sheets, the first Nigerian to do so at a major tournament since Best Ogedegbe way back in 1980.

5 games ✅

4 clean sheets ✅

AFCON Semi Finals ✅

His name is @NwabaliBobo 🇳🇬#AFCON2023 #Nigeria
1 hour 15 mins to kick: Victor Osimhen has just one goal for Nigeria this tournament, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been involved up front. He had four shots last time out against Angola, but struggled to finish his chances. If he can find his shooting boots today, South Africa could be in trouble.
Osimhen will be a main focal point of the Nigeria attack, which is a boost after he was an injury doubt following a late knock picked up last time out. He trained the day before the match and is in the starting lineup.
Osimhen in training this evening
1 hour 30 mins to kick: The Nigeria starting lineup has leaked, and there’s just one change as Fenerbahce’s Bright Osayi-Samuel comes in at right wing-back, replacing Zaidu Sanusi, who is reportedly injured. That’s a big loss for Nigeria head coach Jose Peseiro, as Sanusi has been in good form for not only the national team but also his club Porto. It also forces Ola Aina to switch flanks to his weaker side on the left.
According to @owngoalnigeria Zaidu Sanusi is out of Nigeria’s starting lineup today due to injury. Bright Osayi-Samuel replaces him in the lineup.
That means Ola Aina will most probably move to left wing back#NGARSA #AFCON2023
1 hour 45 mins to kick: African teams always bring the heat when it comes to kits, and AFCON is a breeding ground for excellent threads. This matchup is a great example, as Nigeria will stick with their greens and South Africa will wear white.
Dressing rooms of the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana 🇳🇬🇿🇦

All ready for the semis! 💪#TotalEnergiesAFCON2023
2 hours to kickoff: Welcome to our coverage of Nigeria vs. South Africa in this African Cup of Nations semifinal. This one promises to be an intriguing match-up!
Victor Osimhen is by far the biggest name on this Nigeria side, but with just one goal in this tournament so far, he he has been overshadowed as the main Super Eagle threat up front by Ademola Lookman. The 26-year-old has brought his great attacking form with club side Atalanta in Italy with him to the national team, with three goals at AFCON, all coming in the knockout-round matches.
Despite just eight career international caps to date he has established himself as the man to watch, and Lookman channeled an iconic moment in Super Eagles lore when he scored against Angola last time out.
You may not have noticed, but Ademola Lookman did the Samuel Okwaraji celebration to honor the former Nigeria Super Eagles player who died on the pitch when Nigeria played against Angola🇦🇴 in a FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 1989.
There was a scare for Nigeria when Victor Osimhen was stretchered off late against Angola in the quarterfinal victory, but he has been cleared for action in this match by head coach Jose Peseiro.
The Super Eagles are, however, missing the attacking presence of Victor Boniface, who was injured in pre-tournament training and has missed not only the entire AFCON competition, but will also be out for the next few weeks after returning to Bayer Leverkusen for his recovery.
Also absent due to injury is midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is missing after suffering a long-term muscle injury, while Umar Sadiq of Real Sociedad is not with the squad due to a knee problem. Left wing-back Zaidu Sanusi was missing from the starting lineup and is reportedly injured.
Nigeria starting lineup (3-4-3): Nwabili (GK) — Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey — Osayi-Samuel, Onyeka, Iwobi, Aina — Simon, Osimhen, Lookman.
Nigeria subs (12): Uzoho (GK), Onyemaechi, Omeruo, Awaziem, Yusuf, Aribo, Onyedika, Musah, Onuachu, Chukwueze, Moffi, Iheanacho.
South Africa lost 21-year-old winger Thapelo Maseko for the rest of the tournament to a hamstring injury suffered late in the recent win over Cape Verde. The youngster had made his international debut in their group stage opener and appeared in all five games, four of them off the bench, scoring a goal in the 4-0 win over Namibia.
That’s the only real injury concern ahead of this match, with Bafana Bafana otherwise understood to be at full strength. Head coach Hugo Broos has gone with the same starting lineup for every game in the tournament so far, except for the opener, when Maseko started. He has been replaced by Thapelo Moreno in every game since.
South Africa starting lineup (4-2-3-1): R. Williams (GK) — Muadu, Kekana, Xulu, Mvala — Mokoena, Sithole — Modeba, Zwane, Tau — Makgopa.
South Africa subs (11): Mothwa (GK), Goss (GK), Mashego, Mobbie, Sibisi, Monare, Appollis, Adams, Lepasa, T. Morena, Mayambela.
MORE: Nigeria vs. South Africa predictions, tips and best bets
The same goes for Canada, with both beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Espanol available to stream on Fubo Canada.
Kyle Bonn is a soccer content producer for The Sporting News.


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